The Millennium Problems: The Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Puzzles of Our Time / Edition 1by Keith Devlin
Pub. Date: 10/14/2003
Publisher: Basic Books
In 2000, the Clay Foundation announced a historic competition: whoever could solve any of seven extraordinarily difficult mathematical problems, and have the solution acknowledged as correct by the experts, would receive $1 million in prize money. There was some precedent for doing this: In 1900 the mathematician David Hilbert proposed twenty-three problems… See more details below
In 2000, the Clay Foundation announced a historic competition: whoever could solve any of seven extraordinarily difficult mathematical problems, and have the solution acknowledged as correct by the experts, would receive $1 million in prize money. There was some precedent for doing this: In 1900 the mathematician David Hilbert proposed twenty-three problems that set much of the agenda for mathematics in the twentieth century. The Millennium Problemschosen by a committee of the leading mathematicians in the worldare likely to acquire similar stature, and their solution (or lack of it) is likely to play a strong role in determining the course of mathematics in the twenty-first century. Keith Devlin, renowned expositor of mathematics and one of the authors of the Clay Institute's official description of the problems, here provides the definitive account for the mathematically interested reader.
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At any time, mathematicians around the world are working on tens of thousands of interesting problems. But a few rise to the top of the heap, owing to their stubborn refusal to be solved and to their deep connection to many, many areas of mathematics. The seven Millenium Problems are among those. Selected by the Clay Foundation, the problems are widely believed to be of surpassing importance to our understanding of mathematics, and to whatever understanding mathematics can give to the universe and to the nature of being. These are genuinely hard problems, hard to solve and not so easy to understand. The simplest of them is moderately difficult to state using advanced high school math; the hardest can only be seen in its outlines by the non-mathematician. Making these things avaliable to the general reader is also a difficult task, but Keith Devlin does an admirable job. The reader will find algebra almost indispensible and basic calculus and complex variables very helpful. But it is worth the effort to see where the current frontiers of knowledge lie, and to get a glimpse into the way mathematicians approach problems, and what they consider important.
The Mellennium Problems is a brilliant summary of the greatest unsolved (and the greatest period) mathematical problems. Keith Devlin does a superb job of condensing and describing the Mellennium Problems. This book will definately please any amatuer or expert in mathematics as they delve in to the mysteries that is unsolved mathematics.