Executive Editor, Mathematics
The mathematics list encompasses pure and applied mathematics; the history, philosophy, and foundations of mathematics; and the intersection of mathematics with the sciences, the arts, and society. Grounded in the strong intellectual tradition of the Annals of Mathematics Studies, these books contribute to a large and diverse body of mathematical knowledge.
Areas of strength include analysis, geometry, optimization, complex systems, and mathematical data science. The list also highlights mathematics across scholarly disciplines, particularly within the natural sciences and the arts. Guided by a focus on quality, accessibility, and the unconventional, these books reflect and amplify the central role of mathematics in society.
Radio then and now
When I was a kid, you could actually look inside a radio and see all sorts of neat stuff in there, like the amazing mechanical linkages of the tuning mechanism, or the mysterious, soft yellow glow of the vacuum tubes (the transistor hadn’t yet completely replaced tubes). The wonders of what I could see inside my parents’ 1947 AM/FM radio console hooked me.
Pi is magic
Pi is magic. It is a number that is infinite, universal, transcendental, and irrational. It appears everywhere, and my mathematician friends tell me that Pi is as close to religion as you can get in math.
Why prove it?
Years ago, a student in an introductory math class asked me: “Why do you prove everything; why don’t you just tell us?” Ever since, I have pondered that question.
The challenge of popularizing mathematics
Of all the academic disciplines, mathematics is perhaps the most difficult to popularize. One must navigate a subject that is not always received with excitement by the general public.
As every mathematician knows, 3.14 is only a rough approximation to π, one that fails to reveal its most fascinating properties, of being irrational and in fact transcendental.