Exceptional MathReviews


Were you ever looking up papers in MathSciNet and you found one that especially made you smile or laugh? And were you ever wishing that MathReviews were sorted by amusement factor? Well, we did. In fact, it is a long-standing game among many mathematicians to find the most amusing or worst MathReviews they can.

As a gesture of humanitarianism, I've compiled a list of what I take to be, for one reason or another, exceptional MathReviews of which I have been made aware. A review may merit listing by being unexpected, witty, scathing, humorous or otherwise deviating considerably from the run-of-the-mill reviews. It may be either good or bad, called for or uncalled for, but it should be in some way exceptional.

This list is only possible with your support, so if you can suggest additions or would like to rate any reviews already listed, please email me. (Contributions will by default remain anonymous, but at contributors' requests, I am happy to add names to an acknowledgements section.) Contributions will be added chronologically, so look for newer additions at the end of the list. Enjoy!

Note: To try to clean up the page some, the older entries as well as related material have been moved to linked pages.

The classics (2006)

The second season (2007)

Opus No. 3 (2008)



Recent additions

Added in 2011

MR1127229 White on Rota Rating:

MR0154814 Gillman on Bourbaki Rating:

MR693167 Glass on Anellis Rating:

MR2597696 Brink on Shamseddine and Berz Rating:

MR2575275 Lovejoy on Gupta, Tabassum and Mathur Rating:

MR2527469 Fernandez on Pandey Rating:

MR0814389 Ishihara on Pandey and Kumar Rating:

MR0416411 Lerche on Smith Rating:

MR0072286 Erdelyi on Chakravarty Rating:

MR0061037 Dyson on Petermann Rating:

Added in 2013

(I took a brief hiatus from updating this page in 2012. Apologies for proving theorems instead of keeping you up-to-the-moment in the exiciting world of Exceptional MathReviews.)

G. Turnwald seems to find errors in 80% of what he reviews. Here is a sample:
MR1012955 on Baron
MR1059687 on Jacobson and Velez
MR1464536 on Elia
MR1764119 on Gomez-Calderon
MR1772786 on Hsu and Shiue
MR2010800 on Todorov
MR2024602 on Young and Panario

MR0124005 Auslander on Benzercri Rating:

MR1439623 McGovern on Hinich Rating:

MR1917383 Francis on Perkins and Rowley Rating:

MR0724490 Smorynski on Valentini Rating:

MR1055283 Vanderbauwhede on Geurts Rating:

MR2591149 Znojil on Lavagno Rating:

MR0137828 and MR0227394 Goodman on Koseki Rating:

MR0116096, MR0151602, and MR0151603 Wilf on Koseki Rating:

MR0111043 and MR0100842 Terasaka on Koseki Rating:

MR1445293 Bottcher on Goldberg and Chen (in particular, the penultimate paragraph) Rating:

Added in 2015

MR1773562 Pirashvili on Berrick and Keating Rating:

MR0150536 Herz on Hewitt and Stromberg (the review is shorter than this comment) Rating:

MR3071623 Troubetzkoy on Beran and Celikovsky Rating:

MR2303406 Corcoran and Hicks (2 reviewers!) on Goldstein Rating:

MR0304101 Bavel on Koenig and Frederick Rating:

MR2527469 Fernandez on Pandey Rating:

MR1135530 Anonymous on Orevkov Rating:

MR0125113 Barsotti on Shimura and Taniyama (last 2 sentences, mentioned in JS Milne's tips) Rating:

MR2604456 Katz on Krantz Rating:

MR0312924 Weiss on Itoh Rating:

MR0154641 Allcock on Tzou Rating:

MR2661181 Gibson on Frenkel Rating:

MR0376432 Read on D'Amore Rating:

MR0107626 Cohn on Katz Rating:

Added in 2017/2018


Exceptional reviews from other sources

Langlands' review of Euclid's Window

Bactra takes on Wolfram

Mordell on Lang (Diophantine Geometry), then Lang back on Mordell (Diphantine Equations) (see also Lang's letter)

Rota's review of Recent Philosophers

Weil's review of The mathematical career of Pierre de Fermat

Scanlon's review of Stable groups (the last 2 paragraphs)

Related material

Fri Dec 4 14:45:23 CST 2015
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