Unusual MathSciNet Reviews…

Purely by chance, I just stumbled across a website claiming to sort MathSciNet reviews “by amusement factor”. I thought I’d share some of my findings…

  • MR1427830: “He … adds an acknowledgement to the referee but fails to add an acknowledgement to Whittle for writing the original paper.”
  • MR0746748: “This paper was incompetently refereed and should not have been published. In fact, the paper under review and the other papers by the author referenced in this paper constitute an embarrassment to the mathematical community.”
  • MR0429922: “It is hard to imagine in a single paper such an accumulation of garbled English, unfinished sentences, undefined notions and notations, and mathematical nonsense. The author has apparently read a large number of books and papers on the subject, if one looks at his bibliography; but it is doubtful that he has understood any of them.”
  • MR1786212: “This paper contains barely a single correct statement.”
  • MR1884582: “Not every text containing mathematical formulae or terminology may be considered as a scientific work. Sometimes it is a mere imitation.”
  • MR1418826: “Herein the author states ‘her genuine concern’ about Wiles’s purported proof of Fermat’s last theorem … which, after all, appeared in an ‘in-house publication in the Annals of Mathematics at Princeton’. … Of course, she has no such worries about the validity of her own, Euclidean-algorithm-inspired, proof of Fermat’s last theorem.”
  • MR1656069: “The new proof is ‘quick’ only in the sense that a careful derivation is replaced by a few short and rather cryptic statements.”
  • MR1428296: “This paper seems to the reviewer to contain no mathematics.”
  • MR0785999: “They take the depraved view that this is the model of an optimal seducing policy for a dynamic continuous lover who at time t will have been done in by rivals or scorned women with probability 1-x(t). … No evidence is presented for the success of these policies in practice so we must conclude that the authors have had none.”
  • MR1459261:“A famous Polish mathematician and one-time editor of Fundamenta Mathematicae is sometimes quoted as saying that he had never accepted an article more than eight pages in length, because a longer proof could not possibly be correct. The reviewer has never written an article which was less than nine pages, so needless to say, he doesn’t agree. But as many a provocative overstatement, this one has some truth to it, particularly if eight is replaced with eighty. … If one believes in miracles, such a paper may still be right. But will it ever find a devoted enough reader to be read, not just skimmed or quoted?”

    Many many more at Exceptional MathReviews.


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