This stained-glass rendering of the MAA icosahedron is in the lobby of the Edgar H. Vaughn Building, named for the grandfather of James Vaughn, president of the Vaughn Foundation, a major contributor to the 1978 fund to purchase the building to serve as MAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Edgar H. Vaughn Building (left) is one of three adjacent historic buildings that constitute the Dolciani Mathematical Center.
Welcome to an occasional series devoted to "cool stuff" that I encounter while browsing the world of mathematics and computer science. I'll peek at new developments in math and its applications, and I'll revisit old puzzles, famous problems, and historic events—anything mathematical that happens to catch my eye. I hope you'll find something of value in these brief, informal forays into the world of math.
Ivars Peterson is a freelance writer and editor. He was Director of Publications at the Mathematical Association of America from 2007 to 2014. As an award-winning mathematics writer, he previously worked at Science News for more than 25 years and served as editor of Science News Online and Science News for Kids. His books include The Mathematical Tourist, Islands of Truth, Newton's Clock, and Fragments of Infinity: A Kaleidoscope of Math and Art.