These essays are designed for those who have already discovered the joys of mathematics as well as for those who are curious about its promise. Each column spotlights math that is useful, fun, inspiring, or startling. The Feature Column was founded in 1997: if you peruse our archives, you will find timeless ideas as well as the first hints of new ways to use mathematics!

We write these columns for students, teachers, and the general public, as well as for mathematicians. Thus, we try to make it possible for people at many different levels to get something out of what is here. This does not mean that everything in each column will interest you or that you will be able to understand everything. We encourage you to skip around, dip into different sections, or re-read as necessary: discovery is not a linear process! Mathematicians are trained to look at ideas in special ways that often differ from those of other intellectually curious people. We hope that our calling these approaches to your attention helps you understand what is special about mathematics. We welcome feedback on these columns, though we can not promise to respond in all cases. We hope you will enjoy reading these columns. We know that we enjoy preparing them for you.

About the Feature Column Authors

The mathematician Bill CasselmanBill Casselman
Department of Mathematics
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
The mathematician Courtney Gibbons Courtney Gibbons
Mathematics and Statistics Department
Hamilton College
Clinton, NY
The mathematician Joseph MalkevitchJoseph Malkevitch
Department of Mathematics/Computing
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, NY
The mathematician and statistician Sara StoudtSara Stoudt
Mathematics Department
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA
The mathematician Anil VenkateshAnil Venkatesh
Mathematics and Computer Science
Adelphi University
Garden City, NY
The mathematician Ursula Whitcher Ursula Whitcher
Feature Column contributor and editor
Mathematical Reviews
American Mathematical Society
Ann Arbor, MI

Contributing to the Feature Column

If you are interested in writing a guest Feature Column, send us a pitch! Email a CV, a sample of your expository writing, and a one-paragraph description of your proposed column to the column editor, Ursula Whitcher, uaw at ams dot org. If we're interested, we'll get back to you within two weeks to discuss next steps. If we don't follow up on a specific pitch, you are welcome to pitch us again six months later. We also welcome suggestions for guest columnists from interested readers: if you've seen some delightful mathematical exposition, let us know about it!