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 by 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
David Austin Department of Mathematics Grand Valley State University Allendale, Michigan Tony Phillips Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus Stony Brook University Stony Brook NY
A mathematicianBill Casselman Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z2, Canada A mathematician in a blue striped shirt standing in front of a bookshelf Ursula Whitcher Mathematical Reviews, American Mathematical Society, Ann Arbor, MI
A mathematicianJoseph Malkevitch Department of Mathematics/Computing York College (CUNY) Jamaica, NY