2013 MAA Writing Award Winner: Math Horizons

Awards for exemplary writing in MAA journals and magazines were handed out in August at MAA MathFest in Hartford, Connecticut. The winning articles (PDF) are now available online, along with the award citations explaining why each article merited an award.

Trevor Evans Award (presented to authors of exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in Math Horizons)

Margaret Symington
Euclid Makes the Cut
Math Horizons, Vol. 19, no. 3, February 2012, pp. 6-9

Citation: Can you tell the difference between terms used in either dermatologic surgery or geometric topology? Margaret Symington challenges us to do just that and thus engages us immediately in the close relationship between these two seemingly unrelated areas.

She describes how Dr. Joshua Lane and she teamed up to make precise his improvement on a skin graft procedure. Dynamic geometry software and theorems from Euclid revealed the optimal way to cut a lens-shaped skin patch so as to improve the healing process.

The article is accessible to anyone who has taken high-school geometry and shows a direct and current application for one of the oldest mathematical subjects.