Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HP Labs Mathematician Claims P not equal to NP

Vinay Deolalikar, who is with Hewlett-Packard Labs, has sent to peers copies of a proof he did stating that P is not equal to NP, one of the Millennium Prize Problems. Discover Magazine has a good lay description of the problem. For those interested, the 98 page article containing the proof is online.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences

Julie Rehmeyer's August Math Trek column in Science News talks about the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences and its creator Neil Sloane. The OEIS currently has almost 200,000 integer number sequences in an online searchable database. This is a passion for Sloane begun in the mid-1960s while in graduate school.

From the article, "the OEIS ... provides a sequence’s full 'life story.' Along with listing the numbers that form the beginning of a sequence (sometimes hundreds of thousands of them), it gives all the different known ways to generate the sequence, lists references to the sequence in the scientific literature, links to any sites with information about it, cross-references related sequences, provides a graph of the sequence, and even offers a way to listen to the sequence."

It is very easy to lose yourself for hours in the OEIS so be careful ;-).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stephen Wolfram on TED

If you haven't already seen it, spend an enjoyable 20 minutes listening and watching Stephen Wolfram's TED talk from February of this year. Note that it will probably take a lot longer than 20 minutes since you will find yourself frequently pausing to catch the Wolfram|Alpha search requests and Mathematica code. Well worth multiple viewings.