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MAA Math Alert - July 2008

News and Views

The 2008 International Mathematical Olympiad Begins
The U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad team arrived in Madrid on Saturday, July 12. The first part of the exam, completed this morning, consisted of three problems: one in geometry, one in number theory, and one involving an inequality. Read More

At the Carriage House: Devlin Portrays How Math Changed the World
Keith Devlin knew that his July 2 Distinguished Lecture, “When Mathematics Changed the World,” had an obvious title. But Devlin made it clear that he was at the MAA Carriage House Conference Center to focus on the key “times in history when something… happened in mathematics that…changed the way ordinary people think about their lives.” Read More

MAA Governor-at-Large Jeremy Kilpatrick Wins 2007 ICMI Felix Klein Award
Jeremy Kilpatrick, who is the MAA's Governor-at-Large for Teacher Education, has won the Felix Klein Medal for 2007. He received the award at the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME 11), in Monterrey, Mexico, in early July. Read More

Report Criticizes Reliance on Citation Statistics for Gauging Research Quality
Three international mathematics organizations have strongly cautioned against relying too heavily on citation statistics for measuring research quality. Their joint report, titled "Citation Statistics," contends that citation data, such as the impact factor, provide "only a limited and incomplete view of research quality." Read More

NIST Seeks Feedback on "Digital Library of Mathematical Functions" Preview
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is offering a glimpse of—and asking for reviews of—its long-planned Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF). The new database will update Abramowitz and Stegun's Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables (1964). The handbook has been one of the most cited works in the mathematical literature. Read More


Featured Articles

Launchings by David Bressoud: Quantitative Literacy and Teacher Education
The publication by the MAA of a new book, Calculation vs. Context: Quantitative Literacy and Its Implications for Teacher Education, leads me to return to Quantitative Literacy (QL), a topic that I touched upon in my column of September, 2005, "Targeting the math-averse." Read More

How Euler Did It by Ed Sandifer: Life and Death – Part 1
Euler wrote half a dozen articles that related to mortality and life insurance, and several other articles about lotteries and card games that used many of the same principles of probability. His first excursion into this particular subject was in 1760, when he had been working in Berlin for almost 20 years. Read More


New From the MAA

Is Mathematics Inevitable?
This is a collection of gems from the literature of mathematics that shine as brightly today as when they first appeared in print. They deserve to be seen and admired. Buy this Book

The Contest Problem Book VIII
For more than 50 years, the Mathematical Association of America has been engaged in the construction and administration of challenging contests for students in American and Canadian high schools. Buy this Book

MathFest 2008
Join the MAA and more than 1200 of your colleagues in Madison, Wisconsin July 31- August 2 for what promises to be one of the best MathFests to date!

Publishing Date: 
July, 2008

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