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Math Horizons - April 2004

Content Teasers for April 2004

Mathematics in Science Fiction
Alex Kasman 

A whirlwind tour of mathematic science fiction including Somnium by Johannes Kepler, The Captured Cross Section by Miles Breuer, Tau Zero by Poul Anderson, Flatland by Edwin Abbott, and more. 
Laser gun battles, dangerous mutants, teleportation, androids, time travel. We are all familiar with these traditional science fiction motifs. But who ever heard of mathematics in science fiction? !? Did the invading aliens in a B-movies ever threaten to "divide by zero" if the scientist didn't take them to his leader?

A Conversation with Rudy Rucker
Tatiana Shubin

Math Horizons interviews the leading author of mathematical science fiction. "Science fiction can be thought of as a laboratory for carrying out thought experiments."---Rudy Rucker

A Visitor from the Fourth Dimension
Rudy Rucker

Excerpt from Rudy Rucker's recent novel, Spaceland, inspired by Edwin A. Abbott's classic Flatland. We encounter our hero Joe Cube after having returned from a night of celebrating the arrival of the Millennium. 

Futurama pk
Tom Georgoulias, Sarah J. Greenwald, & Marc Wichterich

This animated television series has many inside jokes for math fans. 

Mathematical Movie Magic
Timothy P. Chartier & Dan B. Goldman

Movie magic is created through cutting-edge mathematics based on innovative research by mathematicians and computer scientists. Take a glimpse into the dynamic simulations used to created impressive effects in the 2002 film Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

The Gostak & the Doshes
Rick Norwood

Reminiscences of a mathematics undergraduate in the 1960s. This particular memory strongly relies on the circular definitions found  in The Gostak and the Doshes by Miles Breuer. 

As Others See Us
Fernando Q. Gouvêa

Mathematics sets us apart from other people, but it also gives us powers that most people do not have. This article explores four science fictional mathematicians from "Division by Zero" by Ted Chiang, Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter, Crytonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and "The Blind Mathematician" by Kim Stanely Robinson.

Alumnae Profiles: Spelman College
Monica Stephens

A mathematics degree from Spelman College opens the doors to unlimited career opportunities. See where Jennika Gold, Karen King, Tanya Henneman, Angelisa Gillyard, Jaclyn Branner-Conner, and Ayana Moore have applied their degrees.

REU Spotlight: Trinity University
Scott T. Chapman
Book Reviews
Elizabeth D. Russell, Rebecca Russ, & Emily King

Students review The Mathematics of Oz by Clifford A. Pickover, Stamping Through Mathematics by Robin J. Wilson, and Codes and Ciphers: Julius Caesar, the Enigma, and the internet by Robert Churchhouse.

Problem Section
Andy Liu, Editor
Analysis Word Search
Thomas Dence, Ken Gasser, Jenn Meyer, & Jenise Smalley

Twenty nine clues will help the reader find the "analysis words" in our alphabet matrix. The puzzle and solutions are now available online.