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Indian Mathematician Takes Shot At Proving Riemann Hypothesis

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the stay-tuned-for-dyson-interview dept.

Math 160

First time accepted submitter jalfreize writes "Indian Mathematician Rohit Gupta (known by the moniker @fadesingh on twitter) has announced an online workshop which he intends to 'conclude by attacking an important problem in front of (the participants), in public view.' The problem is the Riemann Hypothesis, first proposed in 1859. Rohit outlines his approach based on quasicrystals first outlined by Freeman Dyson. His audacious plan, coupled with this recent news about quasicrystals, has kicked up a storm of interest in the Indian twitterverse."

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wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632560)

wha?

Indians (1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37632610)

Indians and math? Who said Indians can do math.... /epic troll

Re:Indians (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632692)

Ramanujan.

He had help: (2)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37632752)

Ramanujan said the goddess Lakshmi read the answers to him out of a book.

Re:He had help: (2)

cobrausn (1915176) | about 3 years ago | (#37632836)

Doesn't really matter how his brain worked it out, he still did it with little/no formal education until later in life. I don't find it surprising in the least he was eccentric - most mathematical geniuses are.

Re:He had help: (3, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37633158)

I'm sure he was joking around when he said it.

(Just like I was joking around when posting that. But just to reassure you, Ramanujan was one of the greats of mathematics. And there is a long tradition of great Indian scientists doing mathematics going back centuries BC. My personal fave Indian scientist is J. C. Bose who was working wtih 60 Ghz radio waves in the late 1800s.)

Re:He had help: (1)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37632840)

Since Lakshmi is an Indian goddess, the poster is correct. Ramanujan DID say an Indian can do maths. :)

Re:He had help: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632864)

So Lakshmi was working the call center that day?

Re:He had help: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37633180)

Hey, Belldandy would be my first choice, but Lakshmi would be pretty cool as well.

Re:He had help: (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 3 years ago | (#37632868)

Ha! See? Ramanujan was cheating!

Copying answers from Lakshimi... MY professors would DEFINITELY take points off the curve for that.

Re:He had help: (3, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 3 years ago | (#37633118)

Why, he cited his sources, didn't he?

Re:He had help: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633212)

Lakshmi is goddess of wealth. Perhaps he was referring to Saraswathi the goddes of Knowledge and not Lakshmi?

Re:He had help: (2)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37633324)

I'd heard Lakshmi, but looking it up, it apparently was Namagiri, his family's goddess.

Re:He had help: (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#37633762)

If we're not sure it's Saraswathi, how will we ever be sure??

Re:Indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632760)

Indians and math? Who said Indians can do math.... /epic troll

They gave us the zero.

Re:Indians (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37632870)

Heh, they did much more than that. Which is why I added "/epic troll" to the end of my post. I am essentially fucking around with mods who lack a sense of humor and only read the first 3 words of a post before modding someone down.

Re:Indians (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 3 years ago | (#37634522)

Screw the zero, more importantly they gave us chicken tikka masala!

Re:Indians (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37634406)

Cmon mods, this post has got to hit +5, Troll.

$39.99 on pay per view (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 3 years ago | (#37632622)

Hot proof action! In public!

Re:$39.99 on pay per view (2)

Threni (635302) | about 3 years ago | (#37632928)

For you very very special price. Because I am liking your face sir.

Oh boy (0, Redundant)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 3 years ago | (#37632664)

I'll be watching the number of racist comments and unfunny "curry" comments on this thread with great interest.

Re:Oh boy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632814)

starting off with the first hint of such with your very own post too! very clever

Re:Oh boy (4, Funny)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37632892)

Looks like someone is trying to curry favor with the mods.

Re:Oh boy (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37633058)

And the mods would like to have a little chaat with him.

Re:Oh boy (3, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | about 3 years ago | (#37633342)

We won't be having naan of this around here!

Re:Oh boy (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 3 years ago | (#37634550)

Doesn't tikka your fancy?

Curry has little to do with this (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632900)

He will talk about quasicrystals and the Riemann hypothesis, not lambda calculus. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Curry has little to do with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632936)

oooooh you beat me to it!

Re:Curry has little to do with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634330)

shouldn't he be talking then about combinatory logic?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatory_logic

Re:Oh boy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632948)

As an American-born Asian Indian, I know the pain of real racism. But a lot of what people like you consider to be "racism" has absolutely nothing to do with actual racism, and in fact has nothing to do with race at all!

It's understandable why many people in Western nations have a bad opinion of Indians, especially when technology or science is involved. No, English-speaking Americans won't be happy at all when they call some tech support line, trying to get help with a critical problem, only to have some guy who speaks English horribly answer. It's worse when this fellow lies and claims that his name is "Steve", although it's clear from his heavy accent that that is not likely his name.

It also won't help the reputation of Indians when the aforementioned tech support calls don't actually resolve the problem, and are instead extremely tedious follow-the-script time wasting sessions. It's even worse for those of us who dealt with good, American-based tech support in the past. In the 1980s, I knew I could call a tech support hotline and get somebody who knew English and who knew the product, and I'd usually be off the phone with the problem resolved within 10 minutes. That has never happened since the major push to outsource call centers to India and other third-world countries.

For those people who have had to deal with off-shore outsourcing software developers in India, there'll be a whole new set of horrible experiences to recount. Whether it's the shitty quality of the software they produce, or whether it's the lies about the current progress, or whether it's just the overall ineptitude, it's almost never a good experience for the Americans.

Even the typical college student will likely have had to deal with an Indian professor or professor's assistant who speaks in a way that cannot be understood, or otherwise is unable to properly teach or assist with the course material.

So it should be clear why many Westerners don't hold Indians in high esteem. When the only interactions go extremely badly for the Westerners, all of the time, it's no wonder that they won't respect Indians, and won't want to deal with Indians. Making incorrect accusations of "racism" won't help the situation, either. Doing so totally ignores the root cause of the problem, which isn't race, but rather an endless stream of awful interactions.

Re:Oh boy (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | about 3 years ago | (#37633042)

I had an Indian professor for a couple of math classes (ring theory and group theory) back in the mid 1970s. I had no difficulty understanding his accent - it was the mathematics that gave me difficulties.

Re:Oh boy (1)

planimal (2454610) | about 3 years ago | (#37633216)

i never understood any of my upper level math teachers. good thing mathematics doesn't come with an accent

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633380)

I had an Indian math prof more recently who spoke better english than possibly anyone at the school. He had an accent, but he had the kind of precise enunciation and vocabulary that would make one think of some Oxford english professor. It was always somewhat intimidating speaking with him as you kinda felt scruffy by default just hearing him speak. Rather blew all the stereotypes out of the water in that case.

Very nice and very quiet person though, only a little intimidating at first.

Re:Oh boy (3, Interesting)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37633262)

That's sure not my experience with Indians. So what if someone on a call center doesn't know jack? Most of them here in the US don't either.

The Indian students here at the university I work at have always been excellent and fun to work with. (My fave joke from one of them: "The British gave us bureaucracy. But we PERFECTED it.")

Re:Oh boy (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#37633624)

Sometime in 1989 or very early 1990, I called Samna for help with their Ami Pro product. I believe it was bundled with a runtime of Windows 2.something. I was calling from Poland, no less, and, perhaps surprisingly, I had a legally obtained boxed product (smuggled from abroad). Not only did they agree with my bug report, but in about two weeks I've received a set of floppies with an updated version that had the bug fixed!! I will never forget that experience. I wish they weren't acquired and could independently develop their product. As I recall it was a rather easy to use editor.

I probably still have those floppies somewhere...

Re:Oh boy (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 3 years ago | (#37634322)

"legally obtained boxed product (smuggled) from abroad"??!!!

Perhaps it's not only the Indians who have trouble with English.

Re:Oh boy (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#37634402)

It was legally obtained in the sense of copyright law. The "smuggling" was perhaps a misused figure of speech. It ceased to apply in mid-89 :) I do have a bunch of machines that were truly smuggled in spite of COCOM embargo etc, though :)

Re:Oh boy (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 years ago | (#37634008)

I don't know about the help desk situation but I have worked on a lot of development projects that had Indian nationals on the teams and they were not lacking neither intelligence or skill. I could be an anomaly because most of the Indians that come to the US have most probably demonstrated their abilities at home and go to the US for better paying jobs. This is especially noticeable when they are sponsored by the companies that end up working for. I have also been in situations where the sponsoring company actually facilitates green card process for those wanting to stay. This is not a cheap process and all the sponsoring companies require is that the developer agree to work with for the company for a set length of time to prevent paying for green card processing and then having the recipient bail whens it's complete. I have also surprisingly encountered this with Canadians. I once worked for a Canadian based consulting company that worked exclusively with US based companies and I was the only American on the payroll. And over 80% of those I worked with received their green cards. I remember the people I was working worrying about their work visa's and green cards and thinking to my self that "your Canadians what the hell do you need visa's for?". Intelligence is not dependent on geography. Intelligence is distributed equally across regions and races. The problem is that some of those intelligent people reside in countries where they do not have access to the necessary resources or resources to nurture their intelligence.

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634746)

"[...] they were not lacking neither intelligence or skill [...]"

Somewhere, an English teacher is reaching for a Tylenol caplet.

Re:Oh boy (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 years ago | (#37635418)

I tend to get sloppy using my phone to make comments. I'm one of those who shuns text messaging on the premise that if I need to talk to someone I already have a phone in my hand that does not require typing. My miniature keyboard skills suck. The best I can hope for is that I can get my point across even with atrocious grammar and misspellings.

Re:Oh boy (1)

jjohnson (62583) | about 3 years ago | (#37635538)

I worked at RSA Security for several years, during the period in which they outsourced several of their minor products (e.g., ClearTrust) to HCL Enterprises. I worked directly with their teams on occasion, and they were fast and correct. It wasn't particularly cheap, though likely somewhat cheaper than a North American dev center.

i hear british people on the BBC (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37634866)

and i have no idea what the hell they are saying. wicked smash innit? thems Cockney barrow boy spivs theyis!

but i can understand almost any Indian i hear speaking English.

Re:Oh boy (1)

Terranex (1500465) | about 3 years ago | (#37635058)

As an Irish-born Irish Irishman, working in England, I guess I don't get the same kind of racism but I still get hit with racist slurs and jives quite regularly! But I actually kind of like it because I don't WANT to be English and it's nice to be slightly different. The first time I ever spoke to an Indian person was after I moved to England (There just aren't many foreigners in rural Ireland) but we employ quite a few Indian university graduates and they are fantastic people! I wouldn't get too caught up on racial stereotypes, the Irish ones are fun to play up sometimes, and I'm sure it's the same for others.

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37635328)

The definition of race is pretty subjective and comes with lots of despicable historical baggage (as well as being genetically dubious - everyone outside africa is much more closely related to eachother, african humanity is very geneticall diverse, so it's more like there's N*10 african races and only N non-african), but by the most usual historical definitions which split humans into "Negro, Caucasian, Mongoloid" etc., neither Indians nor Irish are actually a different race to English people. English and Irish people are all Caucasian, but so are other Europeans, Indians and various Middle Eastern and other North/West Asian peoples (Caucasian doesn't mean "pearly white skinned").

But whatever about the debates of the definition of "race", the peoples of the Indian subcontinent are also culturally and linguistically and genetically noticeably most closely related to the usual European peoples. It's why the language group most European languages belong to is called Indo-European [wikipedia.org] . Note Celtic and Sanskrit in the table!

Re:Oh boy (1)

Livius (318358) | about 3 years ago | (#37633184)

Well, it looks like yours is the first...

Re:Oh boy (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37633972)

I'll be watching the number of racist comments and unfunny "curry" comments on this thread with great interest.

Why would you do that? Are you interested in racism? Are you doing a research paper? Are you a racist?

I'm just curious why you would say such a thing. As you say yourself, such comments are not funny. So why the great interest? Are you making a list with a plan to wreak revenge on those who post racist comments?

Most people, when confronted with anonymous racist comments would just ignore them with disgust or mod them down if they had mod points. I'm not sure a "great interest" in racist comments is really healthy, fiannaFailMan. Better to focus on the good in man than the bad.

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634388)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0n88tZQc4Q

who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632678)

indians can't even clean the trash out of their streets.. why should we care that their best 'innovations' are cheap knock offs of crappy american drama shows?

http://aphs.worldnomads.com/heartrl/9527/P1040829.jpg"
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1026&bih=713&q=trash+india&gbv=2&oq=trash+india&aq=f&aqi=g-S2g-mS8&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=739l1639l0l2699l11l6l0l0l0l0l210l861l0.5.1l6l0

He doesn't set the bar low: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 3 years ago | (#37632786)

I won't hold my breath waiting on the proof.

But I certainly wish him the best.

There are thousands of proofs that begin with "Assuming the Riemann Hypothesis"

Details? (2)

immakiku (777365) | about 3 years ago | (#37632816)

This seems interesting but details are hard to find. All I can ascertain is that the fee is 4900 INR (~110 USD). The start date appears to be Oct 19th, but there's no estimate of the schedule except a listed end date of May 5th 2016. There's similarly no information about the delivery format. If anyone has more info, please post here.

Re:Details? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 years ago | (#37633806)

This seems interesting but details are hard to find. All I can ascertain is that the fee is 4900 INR (~110 USD). The start date appears to be Oct 19th, but there's no estimate of the schedule except a listed end date of May 5th 2016. There's similarly no information about the delivery format. If anyone has more info, please post here.

An end date in 2016? Uh...did I miss something, or does his version of the Riemann Hypothesis include Life, The Universe, and Everything...

Re:Details? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37635722)

This seems interesting but details are hard to find. All I can ascertain is that the fee is 4900 INR (~110 USD). The start date appears to be Oct 19th, but there's no estimate of the schedule except a listed end date of May 5th 2016. There's similarly no information about the delivery format. If anyone has more info, please post here.

From the website: "The introductory fee for the whole lifetime of the expedition is Rs. 4900. Student discounts will come after I gather at least 20-30 people. There is no deadline since the project is not time-bound."

http://fadereu.posterous.com/knk103-the-crystals-of-mt-zeta

Dear Trolls, be careful talking smack about... (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 years ago | (#37632890)

...the only place you'll soon be able to afford medical care. :-P

Re:Dear Trolls, be careful talking smack about... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#37633632)

If only this wasn't true...

Re:Dear Trolls, be careful talking smack about... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 3 years ago | (#37634252)

...the only place you'll soon be able to afford medical care. :-P

Flat rate health care; the price of a ticket to India.

Re:Dear Trolls, be careful talking smack about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634486)

LOL but this is true. Went their to get a Micro Discectomy. The entire surgery and hospitalization (7 days) cost less than $5,000 :D

This summary is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632904)

Because it sounds like something Geordi or Data would say at the end of a TNG episode.

Interesting (2)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37632914)

Two of the major problems (Fermat's Last Theorum and the Poincaire Conjecture) have been cracked in recent times. A third major breakthrough is not impossible, particularly in a nation that has produced some superb minds in the past.

True, India has developed a bad reputation as a result of the call centers and the crappy software engineering, but that's like dissing the engineers developing the PCI Express and HyperTransport specifications because GM can't make a decent car or Bank of America can't provide anything remotely close to service. The subjects are wholly unrelated and you can draw no conclusions about one from the other. (India still runs a better train service than Amtrak, though that should not be considered credit to either.)

Mathematics doesn't require advanced infrastructure and is better done in peace with no distractions.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37632994)

Peace with no distractions. And money. And an audience.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634236)

Of course, if you read the link, you will see that he's just going to "discuss" the Riemann hypothesis and Dyson's idea for a proof. I don't see a claim of proof anywhere.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634436)

Is this a joke? Both FLT and Poincare's conjecture were proved by developing and building on very advanced infrastructure. I'm not saying amateurs can't make progress in mathematics, but that especially with problems that have been studied for a while and have a context in very advanced mathematics, having a strong background is an unbelievably large advantage.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37635268)

>Two of the major problems (Fermat's Last Theorum ...

I suppose that's true in the minds of mathematicians. But there's a far more
interesting question: has *Fermat's* proof of his last theorem, or a
reasonable facsimile thereto, been discovered? As I recall the recent
"proof" ran to hundreds of pages. I really doubt that Fermat's proof
was so lengthy.

So in my mind the question is still open: what was Fermat's proof of Fermat's
last theorem. (Though I'm sure Fermat never thought of his last theorum
as his last theorem ;)

Better Summary (5, Funny)

lacoronus (1418813) | about 3 years ago | (#37632964)

Riemann Hypothesis Takes Shot At Crushing Indian Mathematician

The Riemann Hypothesis (known by the moniker @unsolvable on twitter) has announced an online workshop which it intends to 'conclude by attacking an important mathematician in front of (the participants), in public view.' The mathematician is the Rohit Gupta. The hypothesis outlines its approach based on previous failed attempts, conserved in quasicrystals of the tears of previously broken mathematicians. Its audacious plan, coupled with this recent news about quasicrystals, has kicked up a storm of interest in the Indian twitterverse.

Re:Better Summary (1)

crowlogic (940856) | about 3 years ago | (#37633116)

lol, I got a kick out of that one.. I for one know I will be slightly heart-broken if he succeeds for that dastardly thing crushed my soul and I want a re-match!

Re:Better Summary (1)

Aardpig (622459) | about 3 years ago | (#37634194)

In Hindu India, Riemann Hypothesis Solves You?

Re:Better Summary (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 3 years ago | (#37634526)

So what you're really saying is: The following diagram commutes in the opposite
category? Why didn't you just say so?

Rohit Gupta --------------> Proof
     |                        |
     |                        |
     \/                      \/
Riemann Hypothesis <------- Workshop

This is news now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633014)

Jesus, I could announce the same damn thing - can I be a Slashdot headline too?

If he succeeds, then it's news. In the meantime, please stop wasting my precious bandwidth!

Re:This is news now? (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | about 3 years ago | (#37635108)

Jesus, I could announce the same damn thing - can I be a Slashdot headline too?

Your post seems to suggest that a Slashdot headline is somehow important... Care to elaborate?

Cheap publicity stunt (4, Insightful)

happyhamster (134378) | about 3 years ago | (#37633068)

I have great respect to mathematics. Itâ(TM)s one of the few disciplines left were bs doesnâ(TM)t fly (for long), unlike, for example, economics and political science.

This is a cheap publicity stunt, nothing more. Mathematics is not dancing with the stars or what not. This is a serious scientific problem a century and a half old. If you make a mistake in your âoeproofâ, the public wonâ(TM)t be able to notice. He hopes to be able to publicly claim success, even if his solution will be disproved later (with much less publicity). The proper way to do this is to publish your proof in a peer-reviewed journal and wait to see if other mathematicians find a flaw in your argument. His approach is cheap, unscientific publicity stunt.

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633232)

I have no clue about the validity of his claims, and they are kinda irrevelent for this point;

Academics at large are very bad at doing publicity for their work, and scientific fields. Some showmanship does not neccessarily hurt your work, even if it hurts the "purity". Free research(or the academic sector) certainly could use the publicity, and let the general "uneducated" populace understand what actually goes on. Instead they often think that only the commercial sector is driving the state-of-the-art.

With todays access to media, and the internet, his proof will be scrutinized by experts all over the world, and be ridiculed if found false. So for his sake I hope he brings the goods. Of course, this being slashdot I didnt actually read the article.

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633394)

I'm not sure it's fair for any of us to comment one way or another on the validity of this (personally as a PhD Mathematician with a strong interesting in analytic number theory 99% of this is way out of my grasp, but of course I can't necessarily speak for any others...).

However you may be interested to familiarise yourself with how Wiles originally presented his first attempt at a proof in 1993 [as a series of seminars entitled "Modular forms, elliptic curves and Galois representations" - seemingly innocuous at the time, albeit somewhat less so now! - rather than immediately as a peer-reviewed paper]

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (1)

tkel (2454568) | about 3 years ago | (#37633546)

I like the part where he asks for Rs 4900 ($100 USD) to participate in the online workshop.

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633620)

>Mathematics is not dancing with the stars or what not.

Damn straight. Unlike DWTS participants [gawker.com] , mathematicians generally keep their clothes on.

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (0)

Aardpig (622459) | about 3 years ago | (#37634202)

Dude, why the butthurt?

Re:Cheap publicity stunt (1)

nyri (132206) | about 3 years ago | (#37634364)

This is a cheap publicity stunt, nothing more.

And that is a bad thing exactly how?

Mathematics is not dancing with the stars or what not.

Says who? If you don't like it, don't watch it. I say that if this draw even a few bright people towards maths and shows them that this is really interesting stuff, it is a good thing. I do not understand why Mathematicians should appear as some sage-like, ascetic monks.

In other news, P=NP (4, Funny)

blackcoot (124938) | about 3 years ago | (#37633098)

I got bored this afternoon and did the proof a few different ways. Unfortunately, the details won't fit in this comment box.

Re:In other news, P=NP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633268)

P=NP
P/P=N
N=1.
QED

Re:In other news, P=NP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633634)

You forgot the case P=0.

Re:In other news, P=NP (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634088)

Let us assume that P=0
P(P-1) = 0
P-1 = 0
P = 1
Hence by contradiction, P = 0 must be false.
You're wrong. QED

:-P

Re:In other news, P=NP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633738)

Or, P = 0

Re:In other news, P=NP (2)

shoehornjob (1632387) | about 3 years ago | (#37633630)

LMAO righteous.

This is news now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633204)

Jesus, I could announce the same thing - can I be a Slashdot headline?

Come back when he solves it.

Ask the Foldit programmers. (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | about 3 years ago | (#37633206)

Hey, the Foldit programmers were able to model protein structures for Foldit players to solve that even the most advanced computers couldn't.

Perhaps a quasi-crystal simulator that one can manipulate and this create mathematical solutions? (Not a mathematician so dunno if that's feasible)

Re:Ask the Foldit programmers. (1)

spopepro (1302967) | about 3 years ago | (#37633454)

No. Very different situations. The foldit players leveraged persistence and human pattern recognition for a solution to a relatively recent problem. Dr. Wiles aside (I jest...), 150 year old prominent open problems require more than persistence and ambition.

Re:Ask the Foldit programmers. (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | about 3 years ago | (#37633962)

Isn't the problem determining the mathematical pattern, though? Just because the method is new doesn't mean it's not valid and can't be adapted.

You know you're good when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633290)

You know you're good when the mere fact that you'll be attempting to do something is newsworthy. Either that, or your marketing and/or self-promotion is good.

Indian twitterverse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37633294)

WTF is an Indian twitterverse?

Episode 1 (1)

doubleplusungodly (1929514) | about 3 years ago | (#37633604)

Rohit Gupta: "I have a truly marvelous proof of the Riemann Hypothesis which this TV show is too short to contain. But at least I know I proved it."

What this means and how seriously is this (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 3 years ago | (#37633984)

(Disclaimer: I'm a number theory grad student but this isn't precisely my area).

The Riemann Hypothesis is roughly the following: There's a function defined by zeta(s)= 1 + 1/1^s + 1/2^s + 1/3^s + 1/4^s... You can make this function make sense for any complex number as long as it has real part greater than 1. However, this series does not converge for s less than or equal to 1 1. However, it turns out that this function has what is called an "analytic continuation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_continuation [wikipedia.org] . Essentially it is possible to make a function on the complex plane that is smooth (in the sense of being infinitely differential), and agrees with this function everywhere. This function is known as the Riemman Zeta Function. The only caveat is that one cannot give a sensible definition for the value at s=1. (Essentially as s gets near 1, the value of the function goes to infinity).

It turns out that the behavior of zeta is deeply related to the prime numbers because of another way of writing the above series as a product over the prime numbers. So for example, a major triumph of 19th century math was showing that this function was not zero anywhere on the line with real part of s =1. This implied an approximate estimate for the size of the nth prime number called the prime number theorem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_number_theorem [wikipedia.org] .

The Riemann hypothesis is a much stronger claim about where the zeta function is zero. It turns out that it is very easy to show that the zeta function is zero at every negative even integer. These are the trivial zeros, There are other, more difficult to locate zeros. The hypothesis conjectures that these zeros all lie on the line with real part equal to 1/2. That is, every zero is of the form 1/2 + it where t is some real number. If this is true many nice things will follow.

Most people who have thought about this question believe that it is true. There's a lot of evidence for it, such as the fact that literally billions of zeros have been located on this line, and the fact that it can be shown in a certain sense that almost all the non-trivial zeros lie near the 1/2 line. We also know that in a certain sense a positive fraction of the non-trivial zeros need to lie on the line (one needs to be careful here with what this means since there are infinitely many such zeros).

There are a lot of current attempts to prove the Riemann Hypothesis, and some very serious mathematicians think that the quasicrystal approach might work. Right now there are a lot of different approaches, including some which connect the hypothesis to certain claims in quantum mechanics. However, at this point, despite the many attempts there are a lot of weaker claims that we can't prove that we'd expect to prove before the Riemann hypothesis. It turns out that all the non-trivial zeros need to have a real part strictly between 0 and 1. But we can't even prove what essentially amounts to the worst case scenario, that there are zeros arbitrarily near the 0 and 1 lines. I expect this to be dealt with well before the full Riemann hypothesis is proven. There are other weaker hypotheses that are implied by RH that one would also expect to be proven first. So far the quasicrystal approach sounds promising but has had very little in the way of actual fruit. But this may just be that it is a relatively new set of tools and they need to be carefully developed. Overall, I'd be surprised if this project works simply because even if a quasicrystal approach eventually proves the full result it will require so much stuff to happen before hand.

Re:What this means and how seriously is this (1, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | about 3 years ago | (#37634232)

Yeah, well -- y'know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Re:What this means and how seriously is this (1)

Shark (78448) | about 3 years ago | (#37635040)

Shut up Donny!

Re:What this means and how seriously is this (2)

Lord_Naikon (1837226) | about 3 years ago | (#37634552)

Thank you for your explanation. Learn something new everyday :-)

Re:What this means and how seriously is this (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 3 years ago | (#37634624)

There's a function defined by zeta(s)= 1 + 1/1^s + 1/2^s + 1/3^s + 1/4^s...

Ok. Pretty basic mistake I made here. This series should not have the initial 1. Not sure why I wrote that. So one has zeta(s)= 1/1^s + 1/2^s + 1/3^s + 1/4^s...

Re:What this means and how seriously is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634646)

Stopped reading when you said smooth. You have no idea what you're talking about.

jesus christ (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37634878)

i actually understood most of that.

why can't people like you write the wikipedia math articles?

Re:jesus christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37635428)

Gotta agree, that was one heck of a good summary that covered everything yet remained accessible.

I'd love to see more math concepts explained that clearly. I have 10 or so worthless math textbooks that were written by mathematicians for mathematicians, not students, and they are impenetrable.

$10 per view? (1)

Lanczos (1786578) | about 3 years ago | (#37633986)

If you can prove the Reimann hypothesis, do it, collect the $1000000 millennium prize and then millions more in speaking deals, chaired positions at top universities etc.

If you can't prove the Reimann hypothesis, charge $10 a head for people to watch you talk about quasicrystal nonsense.

The point being if he actually had any legitimate chance at doing this, this is not the format he would choose.

Raising money for research (1)

sashang (608223) | about 3 years ago | (#37634132)

He's doing this to raise money for research. I don't think he expects to solve it 'live on TV infront of a studio audience'. It's more like an opportunity for others to be educated about the Riemann hypothesis.

A YouTube record will be shattered... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37634908)

...when he has a wardrobe malfunction, and we see an elaborate tattoo of Riemann and the zeta function on his naked body as he pours kerosine over himself, and he strikes a match and shrieks the final step of his ingenious proof while engulfed in flames!

Al Capone's Vault (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 3 years ago | (#37635354)

Anyone remember Geraldo Rivera's live TV special to open Al Capone's vault? This reminds me a lot of that.

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