Important information regarding the recent AMS power outage.

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.



Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Annals of Cryptology": Review of The Reader of Gentleman's Mail: HerbertO. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking by David Kahn. Reviewed by Cipher A. Deavours. American Scientist,July/August 2004, page 387.

Kahn tells the fascinating story of Herbert Yardley, chief of the StateDepartment's Cipher Bureau in the early days of codebreaking. The bookcontains new details of Yardley's interactions with the U. S. Army's leadingcryptanalyst, William Friedman, as well as a discussion of Yardley'scontroversial 1931 memoir, The American Black Chamber. Kahn shows hissubject in all of his humanity: although a "natural and inspired" cryptanalyst,Yardley did not play the games that would have given him greater influencewithin government circles. Yet Yardley's contribution to the field ofcryptanalysis is undeniable and Deavours acknowledges the skill Kahn hasbrought to bear in telling this story.

--- Claudia Clark

American Mathematical Society