The Mathematical Intelligencer

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 1–3 | Cite as

The Mathematical Intelligencer Turns Forty!

  • Marjorie SenechalEmail author

With this issue (vol. 40, no. 1), The Mathematical Intelligencer celebrates four decades of lively writing about, by, and for the international mathematical community, in the broadest sense of that phrase. A glance at the Table of Contents in this (or any) issue shows that this magazine is like no other. Informative, accessible articles on mathematics alternate with essays on its history, tours off the beaten track, humor (who knew that math could be funny?), poetry (our subject’s closest cousin), idiosyncratic viewpoints, letters to the editor, book reviews, and more. Our pages enlighten, entertain, intrigue, and provoke.

Today’s Mathematical Intelligencer evolved from an occasional typewritten, chatty, foldout newsletter that Springer editors Klaus Peters, Alice Peters, and Walter Kaufman-Bühler began sending to mathematicians “at home & abroad” in 1971. As the newsletter grew in size and popularity, Klaus, Alice, and Walter nudged it into a full-fledged magazine, and appointed mathematicians Bruce Chandler and Harold Edwards as co-Editors-in-Chief in 1978. Over the next four decades, successive editors added breadth, depth, eclectic “departments” (now called columns), vivid Opinion (now called Viewpoints), and thoughtful reviews. At forty, we’re looking forward to the decades to come, and invite you, our readers, to help guide us by writing for us, and to us.

You can read about the history of the Intelligencer’s first thirty years in Volume 30, Number 1 (2008), pp. 6–19, and online at and This 30th anniversary issue featured interviews with Klaus Peters, Alice Peters, and the Intelligencer’s successive Editors-in-Chief: Bruce Chandler, Harold Edwards, John Ewing, Sheldon Axler, and Chandler Davis. (Sadly, Walter Kaufman-Bühler died in 1986.)

Recent Mathematical Intelligencer Milestones Include:


Chandler Davis retired after a quarter-century of service to this magazine, first as Book Reviews Editor, then Editor-in-Chief from 1991 to 2004, and then co-Editor-in-Chief. Volume 36, Number 1, was dedicated to him in gratitude.

Jim Henle initiated a new column, “Cucina Matematica,” in which he discussed the subtle affinities between cooking and math.

Michael Kleber and Ravi Vakil completed their terms as co-Editors of “Mathematical Entertainments.” The column’s current editor is Sergei Tabachnikov; and it also has a new name: “Mathematical Gems and Curiosities.”

Gizem Karaali was appointed Associate Editor, the first in the magazine’s history. She handles most poetry and fiction submissions.


Our cherished founder Klaus Peters died at age 77. Klaus and Alice had left Springer after launching The Mathematical Intelligencer as a magazine in 1978; they started their own company, AK Peters, in 1992. They stayed in touch with their brainchild, and we are grateful for their generous suggestions and encouragement.

Robert Moody became our first Photography Editor. Stand-alone submissions (not related to an article) are welcome and should be sent to him directly.

Springer established an annual Chandler Davis Prize for Expository Excellence, which encourages the same in writing about mathematics.

Springer Science+Business Media and MacMillan Science and Education merged to form SpringerNature, opening possibilities for cooperation between The Mathematical Intelligencer and Scientific American.


Sergei Tabachnikov was appointed Associate Editor and continues to serve as editor of “Mathematical Gems and Curiosities.”

David Rowe retired as long-time column editor for “Years Ago.” Under his editorship, history of mathematics became a pillar of this magazine. His successor, Jemma Lorenat, is an artist as well as an historian of mathematics; her artwork graced a recent cover (vol. 39, no. 3).


Philip Ording joined Gizem and Sergei as an Associate Editor. We welcome his general expertise and his special interest in the deep connections between art and mathematics.

Scientific American posts selected Intelligencer articles on its website. The first to appear was “Math at the Met” ( by Joseph Dauben and Marjorie Senechal (vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 41–54) followed by “Painting New Lines: Maximizing Color Difference in Metro Maps,” by Simone Griffioen and Arthemy Kiselev (vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 25–31) (

SpringerLink’s online articles are in device-readable .html format.


Dirk Huylebrouck retired as column editor for “The Mathematical Tourist” after 20 years of marking up the mathematical map. His successor is Louise de las Penas, also a worldwide traveller.

Jim Henle left the kitchen to begin a new column, “For Our Mathematical Pleasure,” on mathematics as art. It begins with this issue.

Happily (for our readers), Osmo Pekonen, Colin Adams, and Robin Wilson continue as the long-time expert editors of our popular “Reviews,” “Mathematically Bent,” and “Stamp Corner” columns, respectfully. Long may they reign!

Unhappily, efforts to dissuade Robert Burckel, our Assistant Editor, and Raymond Ramonas, our Project Coordinator, from retiring after many years of service were unsuccessful.

A production team of four guides the transformation of your .docx or .tex file into TMI ’s lively pages

For the Intelligencer’s meticulous editing, down to the very last umlaut, we thank Robert Burckel, our Assistant Editor. Bob was born and educated in Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from Notre Dame University, and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale. After teaching for several years at the University of Oregon, he moved permanently to Kansas State University. In addition to his research, he has been a reviewer for Zentrallblatt and Mathematical Reviews, and, since the reign of Sheldon Axler, he has been Assistant Editor of this magazine. Now retiring from this position, he looks forward to putting together a complex analysis monograph that attempts to survey all the classical work since 1870 and supply the cleanest, most elegant proofs (in detail!) for all results.

Raymond Ramonas, our Project Coordinator (aka master troubleshooter), emigrated to the United States from post-war Germany and earned a bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, with a major in English. A career in publishing followed, spanning 47 years in mostly academic areas. Before coming to SpringerNature, Ray spent 21 years editing the journals of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Now retiring, he looks forward to losing himself in classical literature while listening to the patter of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Continuing in their expert roles with The Mathematical Intelligencer are
Madeline Kraner, our Production Editor, who ensures that each issue makes its way through the production process smoothly and on time. Madeline loved magazines from an early age and earned a B.A. in both Fine Art and World Literature and an M.A. in Art History. Madeline was a senior editor of Publishers Weekly. She joined Springer as the magazine production manager, and later managed digital production for the Springer journals, before becoming managing production editor of The Mathematical Intelligencer in 2005. Madeline has received many industry awards; among them were several for The Mathematical Intelligencer.

And Karliese Greiner-Laurie, who designs our lively covers. Karliese, a School of Visual Arts (New York City) alumna, has been a visual communicator in advertising, marketing, publishing, broadcasting, and design for more than three decades and is a recipient of numerous professional awards. In 2003, she completed graduate studies at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, and now is also a psychotherapist, Ericksonian hypnotherapist, and an alcoholism/substance abuse counselor with a private practice in Manhattan. She is an avid nature lover.

Thank you, Bob, Ray, Madeline, and Karliese! And best wishes to Bob and Ray on your retirement.

Exposition, criticism, appreciation

Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is a work for second-rate minds,” G. H. Hardy wrote in A Mathematicians Apology (1940). Today, this view is as obsolete as the floppy disk.

The Mathematical Intelligencer will continue to chronicle the international community’s geographic, demographic, and conceptual development. Today’s community is not your grandfather’s. The Association for Women in Mathematics, founded when The Mathematical Intelligencer began as a newsletter, has more than 3000 members, both women and men, in many countries, and counterparts abroad. The computer and the Internet have transformed mathematics and the mathematical community together; information, collaboration, and exploration are just a click away. Distinctions between pure and applied mathematics, and between academics, industry, and government, have blurred, and the education and research communities are blending. (Our “Mathematical Communities” column, which features communities around the world, large and small, face-to-face and virtual, past and present, has sampled these changes.)

Exposition, criticism, appreciation—mathematical culture—is, now more than ever, a work for first-rate minds.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clark Science CenterSmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA

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