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.
"Mental Muscles of Steel," by Mckenzie Funk. Popular Science, February 2004.
Mathematics comes into play a few times in this article, which is intended to back up the assertion by neuroscientists that people need to "exercise" their brains. The piece includes a science aptitude quiz, information on the brain, and some "exercises" (stimulation)---including how to make and demonstrate a Möbius strip. Mathematician Manjul Bhargava (whom the magazine profiled in "PopSci's Brilliant Ten," November 2002) is quoted: "It takes a computer seconds to multiply two 400-digit numbers. Run the problem backward---ask it to find the two factors---and it'll take millions of years."
--- Annette Emerson