The Euler Society Newsletter

Volume 1, number 1
January, 2002
Visit the Euler Society home page at

Join The Euler Society

Use the membership form at The Euler Society's home page. $50 per year.

Call for Papers

The Euler Society calls for papers to be presented at the E2K+2 Conference, August 4-7, 2002 (See below). The Call for Papers is on line at or you can contact the Editor at and he will send you a copy.

Euler and Andrew Wiles?

Did Andrew Wiles follow in Eulerís footsteps when he worked in secret on one of his eraís great unsolved problems? We all know the story of Andrew Wiles and his seven years in the attic working in secret on Fermatís Last Theorem. Did Euler work in secret on the Basel Problem, his first great mathematical breakthrough? In one of his early papers, E-20 (O.O. I.14 25-41), written in 1730/31, Euler gives a six decimal place approximation of the value of Zeta(2). Other than that, though, he doesnít seem to mention the Basel Problem either in his papers or his correspondence until he publishes the complete solution in E-41, "De summis serierum reciprocarum", written in 1734/35 and published in 1740. (O.O. I.14 73-86).

At the Bookstore

Here we review books and other resources on Euler that should be still available in bookstores and on line. Please send ideas for book reviews to the editor at

In the Treasure Room

We describe books and other resources on Euler that are out of print, or may even be called "antiquarian," so that readers might know what to look for in libraries and used book stores and what they might be getting if they buy or bid on line. Please send ideas for book reviews to the editor at

Price cut for the Opera Omnia?

Ten years ago, Birkhäuser, the publishers of Eulerís Opera Omnia, sold volumes of Series I for about $65. About the time they were bought by Springer Verlag, the prices soared to the range of $190 to $220, and it was very difficult to get them delivered in North America. Now, with the advent of the Euro, Birkhäuserís web site offers them for E 150 (150 Euros, about $135). We optimistically await reports of improved service.

Call for limericks

Continuing a vile tradition in newsletters of Certain Societies on the History or Philosophy of Mathematics, we shamefacedly solicit limericks, clerihews, haiku and other short poetry related to the life, works and influence of Leonhard Euler. Send them to the Editor at

Call for contributions

The Newsletter will gladly include short contributions about Euler, his life, works and influence, and we will provide links to longer contributions. Contact the Editor at

Euler in San Diego

Historians of Mathematics enjoyed some lively sessions at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego in early January. Of course, Euler was a popular topic. Here are short descriptions of some of the talks about Euler.


The MAA has a new Special Interest Group, HOMSIGMAA (History of Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America), which came into being as the result of hard work by Rob Bradley and Amy Shell. HOMSIGMAA doesn't yet have a page at the MAA Web site. For now, it's hosted by Rob Bradley here.

Upcoming Math History events

Euler 2K+2

The Euler Society's first big event is scheduled for Rumford, Maine, August 4-7, 2002, hot on the heels of the MathFest in Burlington. You can register on line at

On This Date in Euler's Life

We use Old Style dates for events in Russia, New Style elsewhere.