The transformer that provides electricity to the AMS building in Providence went down on Sunday, April 22. The restoration of our email, website, AMS Bookstore and other systems is almost complete. We are currently running on a generator but overnight a new transformer should be hooked up and (fingers crossed) we should be fine by 8:00 (EDT) Wednesday morning. This issue has affected selected phones, which should be repaired by the end of today. No email was lost, although the accumulated messages are only just now being delivered so you should expect some delay.
Thanks for your patience.
"Prime Effort," by Ivars Peterson. Science News, 25 May 2002, pages 324-5.
Peterson writes of a purported proof by Preda Mihailescu of Catalan's conjecture. Catalan's conjecture is that the only non-trivial natural number solutions to the equation xp - yq = 1 involve 3 and 2 (which give 32 - 23 = 1). The conjecture was originally formulated in 1844, and although it appears to be true and progress had been made, no proof had been found (perhaps until now). Mihailescu's prrof has been sent to several mathematicians for checking.
--- Mike Breen