The Best Journals in Mathematics

by Scott Williams

This article is re-printed and *updated*,
with permission from the author, the author's article published
in the **NAM
Quarterly Newsletter 32.3 Fall 2001**.

When I was a graduate student, my advisor would go to the common room and read/scan each journal as it arrived. In those days I would guess this took up about seven to ten hours a week. Now there are too many journals to read. Even the sub-sub-disciplines have two or three journals of their own. Every area of mathematics has journals where their strongest articles appear. Each of us should read are own, however, what general journals should we open? Is there a "best mathematics journal?"

A journal fitting this description would have
every article, no matter the field, important and extremely strong.
If attention is limited to the U.S., then I would claim that such
a journal exists, and it is ** The Annals of Mathematics**
published by Princeton. I can say from personal experience, its
standards of publication are extremely high. So high that upon
occasions very good important articles are rejected. Please note
that

Which of us has published in these journals?
Not me. I only know of a few papers published in these journals
by people of African descent. There are **three** by David
Blackwell, **two** by each of W. W. Schliefelin Claytor (after
whom NAM's Claytor Lecture is named), Atlanta University's J.
Ernest Wilkins and Georgia Tech's Wilfrid Gangbo and one by UCSD's
Katherine Okikiolu. I list them above & below:

**Schiefelin Claytor**,__Topological Immersion of Peanian Continua in a Spherical Surface__,*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**35**(1934), 809-835**Schieffelin Claytor**,__Peanian Continua Not Imbeddable in a Spherical Surface__,*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**38**(1937), 631-646.**Blackwell, David**,__Idempotent Markoff chains__,*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**43**, (1942). 560--567.**Wilkins, J. Ernest, Jr.**__Multiple integral problems in parametric form in the calculus of variations__.*The Annals of Mathematics*(2)**45**, (1944). 312--334.**Blackwell, David**,__Finite non-homogeneous chains__,*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**46**, (1945). 594--599.**Wilkins, J. Ernest, Jr****.**__A note on the general summability of functions__.*The Annals of Mathematics*(2) 49, (1948). 189--199.- Bellman, Richard;
**Blackwell, David**__On moment spaces__.*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**54**, (1951). 272--274. **Kevin Corlette**.__Archimedean superrigidity and hyperbolic geometry__*.*Annals of Mathematics 2nd Series**135**(1992), no. 1, 165-182**Gangbo, Wilfrid**; McCann, Robert J.__The geometry of optimal transportation__.*Acta Mathematica***177**(1996), no. 2, 113--161.**Okikiolu, Katherine**.__Critical metrics for the determinant of the Laplacian in odd dimensions__.*The Annals of Mathematics*, 2nd Ser.**153**(2001), no. 2, 471--531.- E. A Carlen and
**W. Gangbo**.*Constrained steepest descent in the 2-Wassertein metric*, Annals of Math.**157**, May (2003)

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