So conjecture can forgive me for not congratulating the man for his awesome scoop. His work was reaching higher levels of abc and he was writing papers that were shinichi impenetrable to his peers. United Kingdom relies on science to revive flagging economy. It would be sad. Anyway, Ted Nelson's conclusion is somewhat circumstantial, but mainly revolves around bitcoin idea that Mochizuki perfectly fits the profile mochizuki the Bitcoin creator a total genius who delivers a flash of something amazing, and then goes quiet again.
But almost everyone who tackled Mochizuki's proof found themselves floored. Nature 16 Jan 1 comment. That is because it would put explicit bounds on the size of the solutions. But mathematicians have remained sceptical of that claim; many say that they are turned off by his unconventional theories and his idiosyncratic style of writing, and the proof has slipped out of sight. One can perform two standard operations with numbers: Memory beyond immunity Nature 16 Jan 1 comment. Leading figures in the field are expected to attend, including Faltings.
Various famous problems in mathematics ask mochizuki difficult questions about relations between prime shinichi and the shinichi operation of addition. Now take the distinct prime factors of these integers — in this conjecture 2, 5, and 13 — and multiply them to get a new number, d. Ellenberg points out abc theorems are generally simple to state in new mathematical fields, and bitcoin proofs are quite short. Mochizuki will not be there in person, but he is said to be willing to answer questions from the workshop through Skype. Memory beyond immunity Nature bitcoin Jan 1 comment. Abc quickly became legend for his original thinking, conjecture moved mochizuki into a PhD.
And now, this mathematical rock star may have just cracked one of the most important problems in his field.
Anyway, Ted Nelson's conclusion is somewhat circumstantial, but mainly revolves around the idea that Mochizuki perfectly fits the profile of the Bitcoin creator a total genius who delivers a flash of something amazing, and then goes quiet again.
The Register summarizes Nelson's three points:. Get the latest Bitcoin price here. Puerto Rico is taking a big step toward revamping how it gets power — and it could be a model for the rest of the US. You have successfully emailed the post. May 19, , 8: Nobody knows who invented the digital currency Bitcoin.
The ABC Conjecture is as follows: As for his background:. The Register summarizes Nelson's three points: Mochizuki can rightfully be identified as being smart enough to have conceived of Bitcoin; Mochizuki doesn't use the conventional scientific peer review process. Rather, his habit is to publish, and leave it to other mathematicians to sort their way through his reasoning; and Bitcoin would fit Mochizuki's work-rate. We've reached out to Mochizuki to see if he really is the Bitcoin creator.
Soon after Faltings solved the Mordell conjecture, he started teaching at Princeton University in New Jersey — and before long, his path crossed with that of Mochizuki. Born in in Tokyo, Mochizuki spent his formative years in the United States, where his family moved when he was a child.
He attended an exclusive high school in New Hampshire, and his precocious talent earned him an undergraduate spot in Princeton's mathematics department when he was barely He quickly became legend for his original thinking, and moved directly into a PhD. People who know Mochizuki describe him as a creature of habit with an almost supernatural ability to concentrate. After attending a seminar or colloquium, researchers and students would often go out together for a beer — but not Mochizuki, Kim recalls.
Faltings was Mochizuki's adviser for his senior thesis and for his doctoral one, and he could see that Mochizuki stood out. But being a Faltings student couldn't have been easy. He would pounce on mistakes, and when talking to him, even eminent mathematicians could often be heard nervously clearing their throats. Faltings's research had an outsized influence on many young number theorists at universities along the US eastern seaboard.
His area of expertise was algebraic geometry, which since the s had been transformed into a highly abstract and theoretical field by Alexander Grothendieck — often described as the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century. And, he adds, growing up in a different country may have compounded the feeling of isolation that comes from being a mathematically gifted child. Mochizuki flourished at RIMS, which does not require its faculty members to teach undergraduate classes.
In , he boosted his international reputation when he solved a conjecture that had been stated by Grothendieck; and in , he gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin — the equivalent, in this community, of an induction to a hall of fame.
But even as Mochizuki earned respect, he was moving away from the mainstream. His work was reaching higher levels of abstraction and he was writing papers that were increasingly impenetrable to his peers. In the early s he stopped venturing to international meetings, and colleagues say that he rarely leaves the Kyoto prefecture any more.
Mochizuki did keep in touch with fellow number theorists, who knew that he was ultimately aiming for abc. He had next to no competition: By early , rumours were flying that Mochizuki was getting close to a proof. Then came the August news: The next month, Fesenko became the first person from outside Japan to talk to Mochizuki about the work he had quietly unveiled. Fesenko was already due to visit Tamagawa, so he went to see Mochizuki too.
The two met on a Saturday in Mochizuki's office, a spacious room offering a view of nearby Mount Daimonji and with neatly arranged books and papers. As the two mathematicians sat in leather armchairs, Fesenko peppered Mochizuki with questions about his work and what might happen next.
The P value - not all it's cracked up to be. Fesenko says that he warned Mochizuki to be mindful of the experience of another mathematician: Fesenko knew Perelman, and saw that the two mathematicians' personalities were very different. Whereas Perelman was known for his awkward social skills and for letting his fingernails grow unchecked , Mochizuki is universally described as articulate and friendly — if intensely private about his life outside of work.
Normally after a major proof is announced, mathematicians read the work — which is typically a few pages long — and can understand the general strategy.
Occasionally, proofs are longer and more complex, and years may then pass for leading specialists to fully vet it and reach a consensus that it is correct. Even in the case of Grothendieck's highly abstract work, experts were able to relate most of his new ideas to mathematical objects they were familiar with. Only once the dust has settled does a journal typically publish the proof. But almost everyone who tackled Mochizuki's proof found themselves floored.
Some were bemused by the sweeping — almost messianic — language with which Mochizuki described some of his new theoretical instructions: The reason is that Mochizuki's work is so far removed from anything that had gone before. He is attempting to reform mathematics from the ground up, starting from its foundations in the theory of sets familiar to many as Venn diagrams. And most mathematicians have been reluctant to invest the time necessary to understand the work because they see no clear reward: Fesenko has studied Mochizuki's work in detail over the past year, visited him at RIMS again in the autumn of and says that he has now verified the proof.
The other three mathematicians who say they have corroborated it have also spent considerable time working alongside Mochizuki in Japan. The overarching theme of inter-universal geometry, as Fesenko describes it, is that one must look at whole numbers in a different light — leaving addition aside and seeing the multiplication structure as something malleable and deformable.
Standard multiplication would then be just one particular case of a family of structures, just as a circle is a special case of an ellipse. Fesenko says that Mochizuki compares himself to the mathematical giant Grothendieck — and it is no immodest claim. But so far, the few who have understood the work have struggled to explain it to anyone else.
The situation, he says, reminds him of the Monty Python skit about a writer who jots down the world's funniest joke. Anyone who reads it dies from laughing and can never relate it to anyone else. And that, says Faltings, is a problem. If he wants recognition, he has to compromise. For Mochizuki, things could begin to turn around later this year, when the Clay Mathematics Institute will host the long-awaited workshop in Oxford. Leading figures in the field are expected to attend, including Faltings.
Kim, who along with Fesenko is one of the organizers, says that a few days of lectures will not be enough to expose the entire theory. Most mathematicians expect that it will take many more years to find some resolution.
Mochizuki has said that he has submitted his papers to a journal, where they are presumably still under review. Eventually, researchers hope, someone will be willing not only to understand the work, but also to make it understandable to others — the problem is, few want to be that person. Looking ahead, researchers think that it is unlikely that future open problems will be as complex and intractable. Ellenberg points out that theorems are generally simple to state in new mathematical fields, and the proofs are quite short.
The question now is whether Mochizuki's proof will edge towards acceptance, as Perelman's did, or find a different fate. Some researchers see a cautionary tale in that of Louis de Branges, a well-established mathematician at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
In , de Branges released a purported solution to the Riemann hypothesis, which many consider the most important open problem in maths.
But mathematicians have remained sceptical of that claim; many say that they are turned off by his unconventional theories and his idiosyncratic style of writing, and the proof has slipped out of sight. Even if the proof of the abc conjecture does not work out, his methods and ideas could still slowly percolate through the mathematical community, and researchers might find them useful for other purposes.
But there is still a risk that it could go the other way, he adds. It would be sad. An earlier version of this story incorrectly located the University of Antwerp in the Netherlands.
It is in Belgium. The text has been updated. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Shinichi Mochizuki estimated that it would take an expert hours to understand his proof. The story also stated that Fesenko warned Mochizuki against speaking to the press, but this was not part of their discussion.
The text has been modified accordingly. Davide joined Nature in December Previously he has been an editor at Scientific American and a physical sciences reporter at Science News. He has degrees in mathematics and in science writing. For the best commenting experience, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines.
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7 Jan If nobody understands a mathematical proof, does it count? Shinichi Mochizuki of Kyoto University, Japan, has tried to prove the ABC conjecture, a long-standing pure maths problem, but now says fellow mathematicians are failing to get to grips with his work. The problem gets its name from the simple. At this point, no one (publicly) knows. But let's examine a few facts that we can be confident in knowing: 1. Bitcoin creator used a Japanese name, his profile is listed as Male, 42 (in ) Japan (Satoshi Nakamoto's Page). Not sure if the forum. 19 May Ted Nelson, a computer scientist, has posted a video to the web claiming that he's figured it out, and that it's Kyoto University math professor Shinichi Mochizuki . Shinichi Mochizuki. Shinichi Mochizuki gained fame last year for figuring the famous ABC Conjecture. Our Walter Hickey explained what this was.