Top Ways to Use Free AMS Content

Our website offers lots of free content that can be used for informal learning and enrichment, thinking about careers, and recreation. We invite you to explore our online essays, sample book chapters, Notices issues, podcasts, videos, and more, and share them with your family, friends and colleagues. Here's a tour of just some offerings by and for our wide community across all ages, with top things to do:

1. Read stories about mathematicians

  • Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey is a freely downloadable book of stories about people from diverse backgrounds, who've taken diverse paths. Find inspiration, some common ground and even humor.
  • Sample AMS book chapter: "The Firsts," about Dr. Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville, Dr. Marjorie Lee Browne. This chapter is from Women Who Count, by Shelly M. Jones, an activity book for all readers, especially grades 3-8.
  • Take a look at some mathematicians spotlighted in Notices of the AMS to celebrate Black History Month (February), Women's History Month (March), and Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). Explore each issue for articles by and about these diverse mathematicians.
  • Read online feature stories by AMS writer Scott Hershberger about mathematics research communities, outreach programs, textbook authors, and other news from the AMS community.

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2. Learn how mathematicians are helping solve real-world problems

  • Math in the Media: See where math is showing up in current events. Some headlines from 2021 include "Mathematicians are deploying algorithms to stop gerrymandering," "How Math Solved the Case of the Volcanic Bombs That Didn’t Explode," and "Emmy Noether faced sexism and Nazism – 100 years later her contributions to ring theory still influence modern math." Math in the Media now also includes ideas for classroom activities connecting math concepts to the news!
  • Mathematical Moments: Download free PDFs of more than 150 posters on the role math plays in science, nature, technology, and human culture. Most are available in multiple languages. Topics include "Securing Data in the Quantum Era," "Taking the 'Temperature' of Languages," "Making Room for Patients," "Fighting Fires," "Mixing Math and Cooking," and many more. Recent Mathematical Moments include video interviews; most others include podcast interviews.

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3. Be creative

  • Hear Math and Music. The notations of composers and sounds made by musicians are connected to mathematics. Listen to performances and explanations, play an instrument or sing, or compose a piece of your own.
  • See stunning artwork on Mathematical Imagery and try your hand at folding origami, making fractals, or creating a geometric sculpture.
  • Enjoy and write Math Poetry. Read some AMS Math Poetry Contest winners and then compose your own math limerick, sonnet, or haiku.
  • Download free line-drawing and curve-stitching patterns. All you need are color pens or pencils and a ruler, or plastic needles and yarn, to make your own designs!

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4. Play games and puzzles

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5. Explore math in business, industry, and government

  • Talking BIG Jobs: In this series of video interviews, hear what mathematicians have to say about using artificial intelligence and data science at the U.S. Department of Defense, biomathematics in the pharmaceutical industry, statistics at Sandia National Laboratories, and predictive models to optimize technology operation in industry.
  • Gerrymandering cases are increasing looking to mathematicians for their insights. Mathematicians are working with political scientists to incorporate geometry and computing power to create millions of redistricting schemes for a state and assign measures of irregularity to each scheme. That way proposed redistricting plans can be compared with the computer-generated possibilities and the highly unfair plans will stand out and be rejected. 
  • Each year our Office of Government Relations invites a mathematician to talk on Capitol Hill about ongoing research that's helping to solve problems. See Congressional Briefings and Exhibitions on cryptography, modeling, nanomaterials, monitoring an electric power system, and more. Follow the Capital Currents Blog for timely information on activities in Congress that affect mathematicians.

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6. Learn about an area of math that's new to you

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7. Find your collaboration distance and math genealogy

  • Measure the connections between different researchers in the mathematical sciences. If you've published a paper, try MathSciNet's Collaboration Distance tool to see the distance between you and your mentor, student, or a famous mathematician, like Paul Erdős!
  • Check out your mathematical ancestors and see the thesis titles of over 255,000 mathematicians in the Mathematics Genealogy Project database.

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8. Catch up on Notices of the AMS

  • Early Career Collection: Get advice from those who have gone through this stage of research and job-hunting, and who have done service and taught. Thanks to those mentors and others willing to share their experiences!
  • Reviews Collection: Here you'll find summaries of books, plays, movies, and other artistic and cultural works involving mathematics.
  • Topical Columns Collection: These include Math Outside the Bubble, Short Stories, and Washington Update.

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