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

"New Attacks Breach Computer Codes", by Charles Seife.Science, 1 November 1996, pages 716-717.

Cryptographic codes are used for insuring the safe transmission of all kinds ofinformation, from banking transactions to sensitive military data. Often thesecodes rely on the difficulty of undoing certain mathematical operations, suchas multiplying together two large prime numbers. Researchers who work on thesecurity of such codes put a lot of effort into trying to crack them, to testtheir vulnerability. They have found that the foibles of computer operationscan often provide hints about the codes being used. For example, irradiating achip can introduce errors in the encoding, and those errors provide clues thatcan be used to discover the code.

-Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society