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E-Mail/Letters

First impressions
For the first time in years, I have read a Columbia publication from cover to cover with pleasure. 21stC is a remarkable piece of work.

    Howard Goldstein
    Pathology

Your new publication is impressive and it is an example of what we in the research university community have to do to highlight our activities. . . . I am moving soon to become Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. I would appreciate your keeping me on your mailing list. . . .

    Mark S. Wrighton
    Chancellor, Washington University
    (formerly Provost, MIT)

I write to commend you on 21stC. I found the Inaugural Issue to be enlightening, charming, and informative with respect to the informational pieces, and "right on" with respect to the opinion pieces. The size and format of the publication are also unique. In a word: elegant!

    Malvin C. Teich
    Electrical Engineering

I just wanted to tell you that I like the magazine very much

    Rosemary Coslit
    Irving Center for Clinical Research

I'm very impressed with issue 1.1. The design is both practical and pleasant. . . . which leaves the content as the star. . . . of the show. Congratulations! I also want to express my appreciation for the inclusion of Callahan, whom I remember from Portland, Oregon. So I count this as a West Coast touch in a very fine East Coast publication.
    Pauline Palmer
    Publications Editor
    Western Washington University

While I enjoyed the articles in your new magazine very much, and thought they were extremely well written, I find the format to be very awkward to handle.... What is wrong with a standard magazine-style format, of the size of the P&S magazine, for example?
    Dorothy Warburton
    Clinical Genetics and Development

For the uninitiated, P&S Journal is an 8.5" x 11" glossy magazine, published by the College of Physicians and Surgeons
    ≠≠The Editors

I was delighted to see the first edition of 21stC, and I have one suggestion. For me, the magazine would have a greater impact if its dimensions were 8.5" x 11". . .
    Brian Bent
    Chemistry

I like the layout and overall style of 21stC quite a lot. I only had time to read a few articles – there was quite a demand to pass it around. Your wish to encourage discussion is being fulfilled.
    Bob DeMicco
    Center for Environmental Research
    and Conservation

Opinion is clearly divided over the format of the print edition. What do other readers think?
    ≠≠The Editors

Ferment over Fermat
Your statement of Fermat's Last Theorem≠≠"Xn + Yn = Zn has solutions only if n is less than or equal to 2 and X, Y, and Z are positive whole numbers"≠≠is incorrect. For example, 1³ + (-1)³ = 0³ would be a counterexample. The correct statement is "If X, Y, and Z are positive whole numbers, then Xn + Yn = Zn has solutions only if n is less than or equal to 2," or alternatively "Xn + Yn = Zn has no solutions if n is greater than or equal to 3 and X, Y, and Z are positive whole numbers."

    Jonathan Sandow
    formerly Adj. Professor of Mathematics

You've misquoted Fermat's Last Theorem. The expression Xn + Yn = Zn holds for negative values of X, Y, or Z when n=2. That is: (-3)² + (-4)² = 5², and so forth. It would have been safer to have stated the theorem as "There are no positive integer solutions of the equation Xn + Yn = Zn for values of n greater than or equal to 3."
Your friendly number noodge,

    Steve Ross
    Graduate School of Journalism

Author Larry Krumenaker replies:
This just proves why mathematicians don't use plain English, and that mathematics journalism is an imperfect art. That's the last theorem on which I'll ever report.

Correction
Thanks for the inclusion of the Amiens Project in the first issue of 21stC. I was surprised that the Project was included with the Gateway Lab. Actually, it is a joint project between the Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Digital Design Laboratory of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. We have had wonderful relations with Engineering and have used their facilities for demonstrating this project, but none of the work was done there. I would appreciate a correction in your next issue. The Executive Director of the Project is Dr. Stephen Murray.

    Maurice Luker, Managing Director
    The Amiens Project

Done. ≠≠The Editors


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