May Notices

The May Notices of the AMS features Francesco Mezzadri’s How to Generate Random Matrices from Classical Compact Groups. The mysteriously titled If Euclid Had Been Japanese, by Bill Casselman, discusses an interesting question: what points in the plane are constructible by origami folds rather than ruler and compass? (I’d never heard of this before, but Wikipedia has a page on the subject.)

In this month’s What is…?, Valentin Poénaru answers the question What is an infinite swindle? I’d expected the article to be about the Eilenberg swindle, which is an example of a ring without invariant basis number. Instead, Poénaru describes exotic examples of spaces that are constructed recursively, such as the Whitehead manifold and Casson handles.