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Polymaths project- problem selection

Recently we have been suggested to do a polymath project. After a two hour discussion, we decided to execute the idea!!

The Polymath Project is a collaboration among mathematicians to solve mathematical problems by coordinating many mathematicians to communicate with each other. There are a lot of problems to choose from, we want your opinions about which to select.

Since this is our first project,we prefer if the project is easy( more people can take part) and it does not need to be an open problem. We can have alt solutions for already solved problems. Please keep in mind not to nominate very hard stuff, like the riemann hypothesis.

We will check all the problems you guys will recommend through comments, and nominate the 10 bests. We will then have a survey to determine some stuff including which nominated problems you prefer the best.

Since this thread is going to get crowded, comments with either shitty recommendations(riemann hypothesis) or comments that are substantial will get deleted.

So go ahead and recommend in the comments, see for topics that are nominated(non as of yet).

It is preferred if you join slack to take part in a project.

We want as many people as possible to see this so please do reshare.


Recommendation ends in 7th february,so make sure you dont comment after that.

Note by Aareyan Manzoor
10 months, 1 week ago

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Erdös-Szekeres Conjecture

Infinite Mersenne Primes

Magic Squares

Empty Hexagon Conjecture

I think that the more romantic of us believe the existence of a proof, as simple and elegant as Euclid's proof of infinitude of primes, to problem 2. Karthik Venkata · 10 months, 1 week ago

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@Karthik Venkata The third one is a perfect beginning! Sualeh Asif · 10 months ago

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@Sualeh Asif We've already discussed it on slack. I personally don't think it's suitable as it's been attempted by many people and a few results have been published on it which makes it seem extremely difficult. You're welcome to join the discussion on slack to convince me and others otherwise though. Isaac Buckley · 10 months ago

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@Karthik Venkata I had an attempt on problem two a few weeks ago...(complete failure-> too hard!!) I like the third one a lot!!!!!Perfect for "easy". Aareyan Manzoor · 10 months, 1 week ago

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On Sunday I'm going to try write two notes for suggestions in detail and link them here. Loosely speaking they are this :

  1. How many cubes can we make in an \( n \times n \times n \) cubic lattice using only integer co-ordinates for vertices of the cubes? (and similar generalisations)

  2. Given a polyhedra, for example a cube, what is the distributions of all possible planar cross-sections? ( and similar generalisations) Or equivalently, for the case of a cube, when we take a random planar slice, what's the probability that the cross-section produces an \(n\)-gon?

As far as I know these are still open questions and have seem to be achievable. There are some awesome questions already here so I'm sure everyone can find something they're happy to work on. Roberto Nicolaides · 10 months ago

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@Roberto Nicolaides I'm afraid I do not have the time to spend on this any more. Roberto Nicolaides · 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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I recommend trying to prove some identities with Borwein integrals. Isaac Buckley · 10 months, 1 week ago

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Collatz Conjecture Ishan Singh · 10 months ago

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@Ishan Singh i think that this conjecture is too hard considering many mathematicians tried it and failed,but there's no harm in trying it Hummus A · 10 months ago

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@Hummus A I suggested it because the problem statement can be understood by a wider audience (novice to experts). Ishan Singh · 10 months ago

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@Ishan Singh it looks pretty simple,even a 3rd grader would understand it,but if you try,you'll realize it's not as simple as it seems.Maybe some kid here will be inspired like Andrew wiles and solve it :) Hummus A · 10 months ago

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@Hummus A Yeah, I agree with Hummus. I don't think we are doing collatz. Mainstream mathematics problems are not recommended. It will most likely result in a huge waste of every ones time. Isaac Buckley · 10 months ago

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@Isaac Buckley If everyone thinks like that, I don't think any problem is going to be solved. Anyways, I do agree with you. But if people work on it when in a boring lecture or during free-time at school ,instead of dozing off, that would not be a "wastage" of time. Karthik Venkata · 10 months ago

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@Karthik Venkata I completely agree with you. I'm not saying nobody should work on problems which are hard, that have been around for years or problems which involve really advanced mathematics. I'm just saying we shouldn't work on those problems as I want us to have a high chance as possible to make progress, especially for our first time doing this. If we find ourselves solving problems and making progress, then there would be a case for us brainboxes on brilliant to tackle the tough problems. Take it one step at a time. Isaac Buckley · 10 months ago

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How about the Mountain Climbing Problem ? Milind Prabhu · 10 months, 1 week ago

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Xyz tree, there is a unique pattern in the solutions of the diophantine equation stating that the sum of the squares of 3 integers equals three times the product of the integers (sorry, I don't know why latex isn't working)it is sometimes called the markov diophantine equation, although it is not that famous, the pattern is fascinating, each new solution changes one number from the previous one starting at (1,1,1) then (1,1,2) and so on

there is something called the unicity conjecture which no one has proved yet (officially) you can read about it here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_number

sorry if it's too hard , I tried to think of the simplest unsolved problem I know Hummus A · 10 months, 1 week ago

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I recommend an alt solution for e irrational. Aareyan Manzoor · 10 months, 1 week ago

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@Roberto Nicolaides you might like this Aareyan Manzoor · 10 months, 1 week ago

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@Aareyan Manzoor I do indeed! I'll have a think of some nice problems and start engaging more after exams that finish 5th Feb. There are some great ideas here already, well done :) Roberto Nicolaides · 10 months, 1 week ago

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Can anyone please try to solve this Lakshya Sinha · 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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The problem selection is over Aareyan Manzoor · 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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@Aareyan Manzoor Sad. Nihar Mahajan · 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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@Otto Bretscher Please try to help us when you have time. Aareyan Manzoor · 10 months ago

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@Aareyan Manzoor School is back in session, so, sadly, I will have only limited time to play on Brilliant. Thanks for the invite, though. Otto Bretscher · 10 months ago

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I propose the Chain Length Problem Agnishom Chattopadhyay · 10 months, 1 week ago

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Try my 150 followers problem Lakshya Sinha · 10 months ago

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@Lakshya Sinha We need a research problem Agnishom Chattopadhyay · 10 months ago

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@Agnishom Chattopadhyay Can you elaborate. Lakshya Sinha · 10 months ago

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@Lakshya Sinha We need a problem which is conjenctured but not proved (fully/partially) .But we dont want Toughest ones ... I had suggested about Hilberts problems which were discarded lol.. Chinmay Sangawadekar · 10 months ago

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@Chinmay Sangawadekar unicity conjecture sounds simple and i'll try solving it hopefully the next week after science fair is done Hummus A · 10 months ago

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