- Membership
- MAA Press
- Meetings
- Competitions
- Community
- Programs
- Students
- High School Teachers
- Faculty and Departments
- Underrepresented Groups
- MAA Awards
- MAA Grants

- News
- About MAA

by George K. Francis and Jeffrey R. Weeks

gfrancis@math.uiuc.edu, weeks@geom.umn.edu

Surfaces arise naturally in many different forms, in branches of mathematics ranging from complex analysis to dynamical systems. The Classification Theorem asserts that all closed surfaces, despite their diverse origins and seemingly diverse forms, are topologically equivalent to spheres with some number of so-called handles or crosscaps. The usual textbook proof, developed in the early 20th century, is satisfyingly constructive, but requires that a given surface be brought into a somewhat artificial standard form. In about 1992, John H. Conway discovered a completely new proof, which retains the constructive nature of its predecessors while eliminating the irrelevancies of the standard form. He calls it his Zero Irrelevancy Proof, or ZIP. Both the proof and this article are easily accessible to undergraduate mathematics students with no prior knowledge of topology.

**Chaos, Cantor Sets, and Hyperbolicity for the Logistic Maps**

by Roger L. Kraft

roger@calumet.purdue.edu

The family of logistic maps *f _{r}(x)* =

**An Elementary View of Euler's Summation Formula**

by Tom M. Apostol

apostol@caltech.edu

Euler's summation formula, which relates integrals and finite sums, is widely used in numerical analysis, analytic number theory, and the theory of asymptotic expansions. It contains Bernoulli numbers and periodic Bernoulli functions and is ordinarily discussed in courses in advanced calculus or real and complex analysis. Starting with a simple diagram, this paper shows how the general formula can be discovered using only elementary calculus, and it also shows how Bernoulli numbers and Bernoulli functions arise naturally along the way. The formula is used to calculate the first 8 digits in Euler's constant.

**Marriage, Magic, and Solitaire**

by David B. Leep and Gerry Myerson

leep@ms.uky.edu, gerry@mpce.mq.edu.au

Marriage: Hall's Marriage Theorem gives necessary and sufficient conditions for there to

be suitable partners for all the men and women in a given community.

Magic: A semi-magic square is a square matrix with non-negative integer entries, with all

row and column sums equal.

Solitaire: Deal out a deck of cards, face up, into a 4-by-13 array. Try to select

13 cards, one from each column, in such a way as to get one card of each denomination.

Marriage, Magic, and Solitaire: How do these connect?

**The Isoperimetric Problem on Surfaces**

by Hugh Howards, Michael Hutchings, and Frank Morgan

howards@wfu.edu, hutching@math.stanford.edu, frank.morgan@williams.edu

The authors begin with their three favorite proofs that in the plane the circle minimizes perimeter for given area, including a slight twist on a magical proof of Gromov. In a paraboloid of revolution, the "obvious" solution turns out to be a recent result, though proved here using little more than calculus and the Gauss-Bonnet formula. There are also recent examples in hyperbolic surfaces.

**What is a Closed-Form Number?**

by Timothy Y. Chow

tchowatalum.mit.edu

Can the root of the equation *x* = cos(*x*) be written in closed form? To answer this question we must first define "closed form". While much has been written about closed-form *functions*, scandalously little has been written about closed-form *numbers*, even though thousands of students have asked either explicitly or implicitly about them. We propose a definition of the term "closed-form number" that helps answer questions like these; we hope it will become standard. Possibly more interesting than the definition itself are its connections with Schanuel's conjecture in transcendental number theory and Tarski's theorem on the decidability of the first-order theory of the real numbers.

By the way, the *x* = cos(*x*) question remains an open problem. Perhaps an enterprising reader will solve it!

**NOTES**

**The Smallest Solution of (30 n+1) (30n) Is...**

by Greg Martin

gerg@math.toronto.edu

**A Matrix Representation for Euler's Constant, **

by Frank K. Kenter

frank.kenter@smi.siemens.com

**More on a Mean Value Theorem Converse**

by H. FejzÃc and D. Rinne

hfejzic@mail.csusb.edu, drinne@mail.csusb.edu

**An Elegant Continued Fraction for p**

by L. J. Lange

jerry@math.missouri.edu

**The Reciprocity Law for Dedekind Sums via the Constant Ehrhart Coefficient**

by Matthias Beck

matthias@euclid.math.temple.edu

**THE EVOLUTION OF...**

**Riemann's Dissertation and Its Effect**

by Detlef Laugwitz

laugwitz@mathematik.th-darmstadt.de

**PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS**

**REVIEWS**

*Life's Other Secret*

By Ian Stewart

*The Magical Maze*

By Ian Stewart

Reviewed by Dan Schnabel

schnabel@interlog.com

*An Introductory Course in Commutative Algebra*

By A. W. Chatters and C. R. Hajarnavis

*Introduction to Algebra*

By Peter J. Cameron

Reviewed by Cynthia Woodburn

cwoodbur@pittstate.edu

**TELEGRAPHIC REVIEWS**