Mystery Mathematicians

kamalktk

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Note that Terrance Tao, the Tao mentioned below, is a recipient of the Fields Medal, the highest honor in the field of maths.

"Then this past August an anonymous reader left a comment on Tao’s blog. The commenter suggested trying to solve the Collatz conjecture for “almost all” numbers, rather than trying to solve it completely. "

This suggestion led Tao to make a massive improvement in solving a maths problem considered "the simplest unsolved problem in mathematics"

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/mathematician-proves-huge-result-on-dangerous-problem

However this isn't the only anonymous internet post leading to huge advances in maths problems. When someone on an anime forum asked a question about watching some anime, the anonymously posted answer was a proof for a problem that had been unsolved in maths for at least 20 years.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/24/18019464/4chan-anon-anime-haruhi-math-mystery

So, is there a mystery genius maths person out there? Someone able to tell even the top mathematicians in the world how to solve problems?
 

maximus otter

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So, is there a mystery genius maths person out there? Someone able to tell even the top mathematicians in the world how to solve problems?
l don’t think that we need to posit some anonymous, reclusive genius randomly spreading the seeds of inspiration.

l would imagine that top-flight academic mathematicians have a huge correspondence, both official and private. All it would take would be for some chance remark - via email for instance - to spark a chain of thought leading to a revelation.

Scientific leaps have occurred based on even more tenuous foundations, e.g. the dream that inspired Kekulé's discovery of the structure of benzene.

maximus otter
 

Souleater

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Note that Terrance Tao, the Tao mentioned below, is a recipient of the Fields Medal, the highest honor in the field of maths.

"Then this past August an anonymous reader left a comment on Tao’s blog. The commenter suggested trying to solve the Collatz conjecture for “almost all” numbers, rather than trying to solve it completely. "

This suggestion led Tao to make a massive improvement in solving a maths problem considered "the simplest unsolved problem in mathematics"

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/mathematician-proves-huge-result-on-dangerous-problem

However this isn't the only anonymous internet post leading to huge advances in maths problems. When someone on an anime forum asked a question about watching some anime, the anonymously posted answer was a proof for a problem that had been unsolved in maths for at least 20 years.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/24/18019464/4chan-anon-anime-haruhi-math-mystery

So, is there a mystery genius maths person out there? Someone able to tell even the top mathematicians in the world how to solve problems?
I think the issue is with the education these maths genius' have, usually, upon their savant abilities being noticed at an early age, they are taught from the same books and the same theories that all the mathamaticians before them have been taught from, therefore the ability to solve unsolved equations remain the same, as they are coming at the problem from the same position, and with the same learning of how the problem 'should' be able to be solved, sometimes it takes someone who hasnt had a formal educaion in advance maths, to look at the problem and come up with a theory about how to solve the problem from an abstract angle, often one simple enough that all the massively talented and educated have either not thought of or assumed 'someone must have tried that before, so im not going to waste my time on it'.
 

uair01

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Let met put this here. It fits a bit.

ABC is Still a Conjecture | Not Even Wrong (columbia.edu)

Why the Szpiro Conjecture is Still a Conjecture | Not Even Wrong (columbia.edu)

This is totally above anyone's head, but the social drama around the proof of the "ABC conjecture" is fascinating. There's a proof nobody fully understands, there are counterarguments that are not accepted, and there might be collusion in there referee process. I follow this with popcorn and cola, while totally not understanding the math (maybe nobody does).

From the comments - and note that this is about real, serious math:

The 65 page document has a clear message: to understand what IUT is, you need to think about it for 6 months or 3 years (section 1.6), come to Japan (sections 1.6 and 1.9), talk to “M” for a long time, and think about it, discussing with “M”, until you understand it. As a result, the worldwide number of people who understand it is of the “order of 10” (section 1.6), centered around Kyoto.

The math examples that “M” gives are so simple that nobody will ever believe that Scholze and Stix stumbled over such issues.
“M” clearly states, page over page, that Scholze and Stix are stupid. In fact, the document states that all his critics are stupid. Above all, the document shows that “M” is abusive towards people of different opinion.

The whole paper is clearly written by an aspiring leader of a sect. There is no need to come to Japan to understand this. I have lived in Japan, and this type of sect leaders is common there. It is sad to see that such people exist in mathematics, and especially sad to see that they exist at Kyoto University, one of the best in Japan.


Peter Scholze, one of the doubters of the ABC proof, is also a fascinating figure, although in a more normal fashion:
Peter Scholze and the Future of Arithmetic Geometry | Quanta Magazine
 
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