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.
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.
Finding mystery, truth, and beauty on mathematicians’ chalkboards
I grew up in a house on the campus of a boarding school in Connecticut. My father taught history and coached the wrestling team, while my mother taught art. Our lives were totally immersed in this insular academic world—the school was our home and our playground.
Who was Euclid?
Euclid of Alexandria: mathematician, author of the Elements of Geometry. Utterer of apocryphal quips including the famous put-down to Ptolemy I: ‘there is no royal road to geometry’. Who was he? What did he look like?
Can logic be fun?
Many people have tried to define logic. James Thurber wrote, “Since it is possible to touch a clock without stopping it, it follows that one can start a clock without touching it.”
The puzzle of our future humanity: One mathematician’s perspective
While completing this piece, the world came together in shared sadness, pain, and grief. This time has been an awakening for some and a reminder for others of the injustice all around us and its long and ugly legacy.