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.
"Coming Up Trumps," by Erica Klarreich. New Scientist, 20 July 2002,pages 42-44.
How well does the card-shuffling machine shuffle cards? When a Las Vegascasino company wanted to find out, it asked mathematician and magician PersiDiaconis of Stanford University. Diaconis and Susan Holmes, a Stanfordstatistician, analyzed the machine and found that the machine did not mix thecards well enough. Their strategy for guessing the order of some of the cardsin a machine-shuffled deck "was enough to unsettle the company engineers,"Klarreich writes. The engineers are now trying to figure out how to correctthis problem. Surprisingly, the method the machines use, called "shelfshuffling," has a link to noncommutative geometry, which arises in quantummechanics.
--- Allyn Jackson