Page 5 — A Conversation with Masha Gessen
Author and journalist Masha Gessen discusses her timely new book about mathematician Grigory Perelman, whose stunning proof of the Poincaré Conjecture could be worth a million dollar prize—that Perelman may refuse.
Page 8 — Getting a Handle on Poincaré
What exactly is the Poincaré Conjecture, and is it responsible for the birth—and death—of low dimensional topology?
Page 12 — Gaussian Guesswork (or why 1.19814023473559220744…is such a beautiful number)
Gauss’s diaries reveal the computational acuity of one of history’s greatest mathematicians and makes a general case for the experimental nature of mathematical creativity.
Page 16 — Stochastic Calculus and the Nobel Prize Winning Black-Scholes Equation
Follow the journey from a simple coin flip to the revolutionary mathematical model that, for better or worse, is a fundamental tool of today’s financial industry.
Page 19 — The Circle-Squaring Problem Decomposed
Pamela Pierce, John Ramsay, Hannah Roberts, Nancy Tinoza, Jeffrey Willert, and Wenyuan Wu
In 1990, Miklós Laczkovich bucked common wisdom and proved that a circle can be decomposed into a square of the same area. Approximating circles with polygons provides a hands-on introduction to this counter intuitive result.
Page 22 —Soggy Jogging in Flatland: A 2D Analysis of Running in the Rain
Dank Hailman and Bruce Torrents
How wet you get running in the rain depends on what kind of shape you are in.
Page 25 — Tricky Factoring, Pythagorean Triples, and Heron’s Formula
Dan Pritikin and Gary Yane
In search of problems to trip up their algebra students, the authors stumble onto some unexpected classics from Greek geometry.
Page 28— Book Reviews: Irreligion and The Book of Numbers
Reviews by Vagn Lundsgaard Hansen and Peter Schumer
Page 30 — The Playground
The MH problems section, edited by Derek Smith
Page 34 — Aftermath: A Politician's Apology (click to read and respond)
Computer science pioneer and war hero Alan Turing was driven to suicide by the anti-gay policies of the country he helped save. Are the Prime Minister's words of regret enough?