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On the Cover

March-April 2009 Volume 97, Number 2

The first transistor was a relatively monstrous device, about half an inch tall. Nowadays there can be up to a billion transistors on a tiny silicon chip, and hundreds of chips are fabricated simultaneously on a silicon wafer. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Real-time Flood Forecasting

Chintu Lai, Ting-Kuei Tsay, Chen-Ho Chien, I-Ling Wu

We’ve learned to predict typhoons. What is required to predict the floods they bring?


Knowing When to Stop

Theodore Hill

How to gamble if you must—the mathematics of optimal stopping


The Long-lived Transistor *

Robert W. Keyes

The basic unit of the computer revolution has changed in form, material and fabrication, but nothing has come along in half a century to displace it


A Cipher to Thomas Jefferson *

Lawren M. Smithline

A collection of decryption techniques and the analysis of various texts combine in the breaking of a 200-year-old code


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

On the Origin of Specious Arguments

Hugh Gusterson

A review of Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World. Edited by Raphael D. Sagarin and Terence Taylor. There are surely lessons that the field of international security could learn from evolutionary biology, says Gusterson, but this book fails to deliver them

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

The Blue Baby Syndromes

Did environment or infection cause a blood disorder in newborns?

Roger P. Smith

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Writing Math on the Web

The Web would make a dandy blackboard if only we could scribble an equation

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Tacoma Narrows Bridges*

Three bridges have connected mainland Washington with the Olympic Peninsula

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

The Squeeze Is On

How do molecules behave at extremely high pressure?

Roald Hoffmann

SIGHTINGS

A Little Space, Please

SciVis and InfoVis face off

Robert Kosara

SCIENCE OBSERVER

A Nuke on the Yukon?

Mini-nukes arrive at the regulatory gate. Will they get through?

Morgan Ryan

DNA Research Commons Scaled Back

Concerned about violating DNA donor confidentiality, U.S. research agency sticks with decision to limit data exchange

Catherine Clabby

What's Wrong with this Picture?

A new project will make the effects of pollution in U.S. national parks impossible to miss

Anna Lena Phillips

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Take That, Robots

A Knotty Writing Issue

A Chinese Hangul?

Seeking Heat

Rocket Mishaps

Winged Warning

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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