Ever wondered what every average human thinks when looking at non-arithmetic M@H?

Now I challenge YOU to make the craziest possible math problem EVER!!!

Here are the rules:

• No words: introductions, if-then's, assumptions, ... Exception: you may use words briefly for definitions, but make sure to MINIMIZE the usage - i.e. use math language instead where possible (# vs. number, etc.)

• One part of the problem must be solvable by > 90% of the masses (such as 1+1=2)

• Must be visually terrorizing

• Must be mentally terrorizing

Post links below for your submissions of the craziest math problem. The contest will be judged by votes: majority rule. Downvotes allowed. I will post a congratulation note to the winner along with the link to the problem. Hopefully it will be powered by re-shares from the big boys (Calvin).

The contest begin today and ends August 1st.

$\huge{\text{GO MAD-M@H CRAZY!!!}}$

Note by John M.
5 years, 1 month ago

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$|x|<0$

- 5 years ago

Poon, algebras with negative norms is a thing. It's not true that $|x|<0$ is a mathematical impossibility. Here's a paper discussing spinors and Clifford algebras, both of which play prominent roles in theoretical physics

The Construction of Spinors in Geometric Algebra

On pages 2 and 6, it speaks of vectors of negative norms. This is not an isolated instance. What makes this paper slightly different from most other papers on mathematical physics is that the construction of the relevant Clifford algebra for spinors uses the utility of vectors of negative norms. Most other physics papers that run into negative norms complain about how they keep cropping up like weeds, and they talk about how to get rid of them because they seem to suggest physical nonsense--like negative energy and negative distance. Kind of like how that black, sticky goo that sometimes came out of the ground back before the 19th century was considered to be an odious nuisance best to be gotten rid of. But, mathematically speaking, "negative norms" are not un-mathematical.

- 5 years ago

Maaan... how many courses do I need to take to understand that lol

Though on the other hand I feel like I'm beyond this stuff and just feel intimidated by the notations or am just lazy ;p

- 5 years ago

Oh, don't think I read this stuff professionally. Who has the time, except the professionals themselves?

- 5 years ago

$\color{#FFFFFF}{\text{Too scary! OMG! Save me!}}$

- 5 years ago

O_o...

You're onto something.

- 5 years ago

^.^

- 5 years ago

$n$ is a positive non-zero integer. Solve for $n$. Clues for this one can be found in one of my notes.

You may use a computer.

- 5 years, 1 month ago

Woops I past my deadline, lol. Apparently the only downvote you got was from me ^.^ Well, could you please provide me with the LaTeX of the problem, or is that its best rendering over there?

- 4 years, 12 months ago

If you copy and paste the image, it can be enlarged nicely, with little loss of detail. But I suggest you first have a look at my messageboard to get a hint how to solve this.

To actually try to compute this expression, even with a computer and math software, is a fairly formidable task.

- 4 years, 12 months ago

Hm ok so what you're saying is that it is ACTUALLY DIFFICULT - versus looking difficult. I see. I was more looking for a problem that LOOKS difficult - regardless of its true difficulty. And I really think my problem outdid yours in that respect. "I THINK" - no flames please, lol. Okay, YOU ARE THE WINNER!!! But since I'm unsatisfied with the result, I will make this an annual contest ^.^

So, what do you think about my precious new VE about derivatives?

- 4 years, 12 months ago

John, here's the thing. Your posed problem is actually a legitimate one, i.e., something that can be done by hand, if one is patient enough, and willing enough to understand the concept of irrational derivatives. Mine can only be understood if first deconstructed, i.e., go back to the source of other prime number formulas that make use of floor functions (there are now quite a few out there). Otherwise, as I said, it's a formula that even computers can find it difficult to compute. It's a very real thing, it's not made up fantasy. The formula I posted in my messageboard will indeed deliver P(n), or the nth prime number, for integer n. So, the correct answer to the problem I posted is $3$.

Given that it's not realistic for anyone to do my problem without first knowing its antecedents, I'd vote for yours.

- 4 years, 12 months ago

3?!?!? LOOOL !!! My History & Government and Politics teacher always said the answer to all my math problems is 3 - because 3 is the magic number. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE THE ONE TO FIND IT MOST USEFUL?! But yes I've heard from Numberphile how insanely hard it is to compute prime numbers - and since I'm clueless at number theory, I'll leave it at that ^.^ Sooo... did you get a chance to look at my new VE post?

- 4 years, 12 months ago

Oh, that was you. The guy who posted that long treatise on derivatives. What does "VE" mean? But let me go through your treatise, and after I've had my little jog today, I'll get back to you on that. For things like this, I'd like to think before I respond. Unlike the way I solve some problems here.

Edit: Okay, see my first comments on this

VE

By the way, "VE" to someone like me means "Victory in Europe". I think one has to be really old to get this.

- 4 years, 12 months ago

Meh. Looks lazy and repetitive. Lots of white space.

Not scary.

(Just my opinion ^.^)

- 5 years, 1 month ago

Yours doesn't have much white space in the same way graffiti art doesn't leave much room for white space. But what do I know about art? It's just an opinion. Hoo-hah.

- 5 years, 1 month ago

Bah come on my problem looks far more intimidating and you know it. In fact, there are like 15 maniacs who "solved" it somehow, apparently, according to the problem statistics.

But... I can't promise my problem is harder if we remove the bottom-most fraction. Everything is simply simplification, that's all. Kk I'ma back away into my corner now...

- 5 years, 1 month ago

Just wait until the next bell.

- 5 years, 1 month ago

It must look crazier than this!:

Here is my submission (without math-speak). GO BEAT IT!

- 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm still waiting for a solution to this problem!

- 5 years, 1 month ago

I have all of it besides the bottom fraction. I lost the notebook on where I copied the solution down to... Meh...

But the moment I'm finding I'm flying straight over here!

- 5 years, 1 month ago

The only thing that really throws me for a loop is that derivative of irrational order. Where can I learn more about that?

- 5 years, 1 month ago

Pith Derivative

In fact, all but the bottom fraction are scattered throughout my profile. It's an easter egg hunt ^.^

- 5 years, 1 month ago

I cannot recommend this idea.

Words taken away from math is just Kaboobly doo, like life taken away from a person would just be a bag of chemicals. The essence of mathematics is in its beauty and simplicity, not to scare the damn out of people.

Personally, I've no idea what joy a sane mathematician would get out of solving your problem

- 5 years, 1 month ago

- 5 years ago

The point is not to make it "right," or even elegant. The point is to make the most crazy-looking problem you can, so that it intimidates the neurons out of those who look at it (besides the math pros).

- 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree that what the world needs are sane mathematicians.

- 5 years, 1 month ago