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On the Cover

May-June 2012 Volume 100, Number 3

Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri), native to the northern and eastern Yellowstone Plateau, swim in Slough Creek, a tributary of Yellowstone Lake. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Mind Wandering *

Michael Corballis

Remembering the past and imagining the future share similarities


Herschel and the Puzzle of Infrared *

Jack R. White

An astronomer took a mental leap to first connect light and heat


Plenty of Room at the Bottom?

William G. Eberhard, William T. Wcislo

Tiny animals solve problems of housing and maintaining oversized brains, shedding new light on nervous-system evolution


Aquatic Invasive Species: Lessons from Cancer Research *

Adam Sepulveda, Andrew Ray, Robert Al-Chokhachy, Clint Muhlfeld, Robert Gresswell, Jackson Gross, Jeff Kershner

The medical community’s successes in fighting cancer offer a model for preventing the spread of harmful invasive species


The Soap Film: An Analogue Computer

Cyril Isenberg

Soap films provide a simple method of obtaining analogue solutions to some mathematical problems


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Mathematical Road Trips

Brian Hayes

A review of In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation, by William J. Cook. The traveling salesman problem falls into that set of mathematical problems that are very difficult, but not impossible, to solve, says Hayes. This book celebrates its idiosyncrasies

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITOR

Small World

Old acquaintances revisited

David Schoonmaker

MACROSCOPE

Science Needs More Moneyball

Baseball’s data-mining methods are starting a similar revolution in research

Frederick M. Cohan

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Computation and the Human Predicament

The Limits to Growth and the limits to computer modeling

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Backseat Designers*

Safety came to automotive design under considerable pressure

Henry Petroski

SLIDE SHOW

Science Light

Click to Enlarge Image

American Scientist has run cartoons in its pages since the 1970s. Here we offer a selection of our favorites.

MARGINALIA

Do the Eyes Have It?

Dog domestication may have helped humans thrive while Neandertals declined

Pat Shipman

SIGHTINGS

Social Needs Help Sculpt Primate Faces

When University of California at Los Angeles researchers analyzed the faces of Central and South American primates, they found a pattern suggesting that differences in social behavior have an influence on facial features.

Catherine Clabby

SCIENCE OBSERVER

A Limited-Edition Report from the Field

From an evolutionary biologist’s year in Kenya’s Amboseli basin, both research and a fine-press book are emerging

Anna Lena Phillips

Microrockets Fizz Along

Tiny devices push themselves forward on a stream of hydrogen bubbles

Fenella Saunders

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Venus's Clockwork Contribution

Climate Versus Land Management

Behaviorology in Context

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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