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MAA Math Alert - August 2008

News and Views

2008 International Mathematical Olympiad: Alex Zhai Earns Perfect Score as U.S. Finishes Third
Alex Zhai scored one of only three perfect papers as he helped lead the U.S. team to a third place finish at the 2008 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Madrid, Spain. Read More

MathFest 2008: Mathematical Contest in Modeling Winners Announced
Teams from Duke University and Harvey Mudd College won MAA awards in this year’s Mathematical Contest in Modeling. Read More

Spectacular Mathematical Bubble Design at the Olympics
The spectacular design of the National Aquatics Center in Beijing—the swimming venue for the 2008 Olympics—was inspired by the mathematics (and physics) of foam. Read More

Revealing Images of Mathematical History
Loci: Convergence at MathDL features images of important artifacts in the Plimpton and Smith Collections of Mathematical Materials at Columbia University, from the Babylonian tablet known as Plimpton 322, which shows Pythagorean triplets, to a page from the Treviso Arithmetic (1478). Browse “Mathematical Treasures.”

MAA Reviews and Classroom Capsules and Notes
MAA Online offers members access to both MAA Reviews and Classroom Capsules and Notes. MAA Reviews is a database of over 2,000 book reviews, while Capsules and Notes brings together the best classroom material from the MAA’s three print journals. Visit MAA Reviews Visit Classroom Capsules and Notes

August/September Issue of MAA FOCUS Available Online
The latest issue of MAA FOCUS is now available at MAA Online. Get a recap of this year’s MathFest and check out other MAA news. You can also read about the two new posters the MAA has released, Women of Mathematics and Ethnomathematics. As a bonus, all members will receive the Ethnomathematics poster with the print edition of MAA FOCUS when issues are mailed next week. Read MAA FOCUS Online

China Girls Math Olympiad: U.S. Wins Two Gold, One Silver, and Five Bronze Medals
The 2008 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO) has wrapped up, and both of the MAA-sponsored U.S. teams are bringing home plenty of extra luggage. All eight girls who participated for the U.S. earned a medal. Read More

Featured Articles

The Mathematical Tourist by Ivars Peterson: A New Formula for Generating Primes
Rutgers graduate student Eric Rowland has just found a remarkable new prime-generating function. Read More

Devlin's Angle by Keith Devlin: It's Still Not Repeated Addition
Devlin discusses the feedback he’s received since writing his previous column, It Ain't No Repeated Addition, and tries to raise awareness among teachers of some issues in contemporary mathematics that he suspects they may be unaware of. Read More

New From the MAA

PBwiki and MAA are teaming up
As part of PBwiki's Partner Program for Education, all MAA members can take advantage of a free trial offer of a Gold wiki (regular price $250) for your classroom. To create your Gold wiki, go to:
The upgraded status of the wiki will be good for one year, at which time you will have the opportunity to maintain the Gold status for the current renewal rate or continue to use the wiki for free with reduced features. To learn more about PBwiki in education, visit

A Guide to Complex Variables
This volume in MAA’s new “Guide” series gives readers a quick, accessible introduction to key topics in complex variables. Buy this Book

Sink or Float? Thought Problems in Math and Physics
This collection of problems draws from mathematics in the real world. Its multiple-choice format forces the reader to become actively involved in deciding upon the answer. The book's aim is to show just how much can be learned by using everyday common sense. Buy this Book

Publishing Date: 
August, 2008