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Spare time to help mathematicians solve an impasse?

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  • Spare time to help mathematicians solve an impasse?

    Any here with a basic (O1 level or better) interest in math got the spare time to help resolve an impasse amongst mathematicians to get an agreed answer that we can all understand?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/sc...it_th_20120918

  • #2
    There is no impasse present. It's just that a new type of notation and understanding has been introduced. That must be understood first before the claimed proof can be validated. This isn't new and has been the case many times before such as Einstein's methods of resolving infinities that were unavoidable in his theories.

    Mathematics is constantly changing. A good example is the proof of the four colour problem. Are just four colours sufficient to colour a map so that no two regions share a border of the same colour? It was proved correct using computers to run such a large number of calculations of different cases that the probability of there being a case that violated the conjecture became infinitesimally small. The proof didn't sit well with much of the mathematical community because it could only be completed by the use of a computer. Mathematicians at that time were not accustomed to accepting proofs that could not be generated "by hand". That is no longer the case but it has taken quite a few years to arrive at that point.
    Last edited by Evan; 09-19-2012, 01:50 AM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by oldtiffie View Post
      Any here with a basic (O1 level or better) interest in math got the spare time to help resolve an impasse amongst mathematicians to get an agreed answer that we can all understand?
      Until this announcement almost no mathematicians knew anything about the obscure branch of mathematics this comes from, something called anabelian geometry. It seems like there were only about half a dozen practitioners in the world. Judging from the reception, that will soon change.

      Here is another report. Who knows, maybe the Four Color Map Theorem will fall out if it, in an elegant form.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1877692.html
      Allan Ostling

      Phoenix, Arizona

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