There is a history of individuals and organizations offering monetary rewards for solutions, either in the affirmative or negative, to difficult mathematically-oriented problems. For example, the Millennium Prize Problems are seven problems in mathematics that were stated by the Clay Mathematics Institute in 2000. A correct solution to any of the problems results in a $1,000,000 prize being awarded by the institute. To date, only one of the problems has been solved (the Poincaré Conjecture was solved by Grigori Perelman, but he declined the award in 2010). These are hard problems! The renowned mathematician John Conway (Princeton) maintains a list of open problems and for each problem on the list, he is offering $1000 to the first person that provides a correct solution. In this talk, we will explore a few of Conway’s problems, and in the unlikely event we come up with a solution, we’ll split the money.
This talk was given at the Northern Arizona University Friday Afternoon Mathematics Undergraduate Seminar (FAMUS) on Friday, October 24, 2014.