## How the Web Rallied To Review the P != NP Claim 160

Posted
by
Soulskill

from the peer-to-peer-review dept.

from the peer-to-peer-review dept.

An anonymous reader writes

*"Remember, about a month ago, when a researcher claimed he had a proof that P != NP? Well, the proof hasn't held up. But blogs and news sites helped spur a massive, open, collaborative effort on the Internet to understand the paper and to see if its ideas could be extended. This article explains what happened, how the proof was supposed to work, and why it failed."*
## The greatest gift (Score:5, Insightful)

No matter the flaws with his paper, this guy has certainly managed to inspire a whole lot of people to delve into a subject and collaborate on it.

Those who think deep thoughts are precious. Those who manage to inspire thousands of others to do so...

## Re:A simpler proof? Please? (Score:5, Insightful)

there should be a simpler way to go about showing that P != NPthat simpler way would only exist if P = NP

## Re:A simpler proof? Please? (Score:2, Insightful)

Considering that Wiles's proof for Fermat's Last Theorem, which is a number theory problem that can be trivially stated, was ridiculously complex and used some crazy maths that weren't even discovered in Fermat's time, I don't think you can really estimate the size of a proof by the complexity of the problem stated.

## Ah, but what if it had held up??? (Score:4, Insightful)

We would be reading this instead:

"Remember, about a month ago, when a researcher claimed he had a proof that P != NP? Well, after a month of vigorous examination by ordinary netizens and Nobel-prize-winning mathematicians, it looks like it's going to hold up. Blogs and news sites helped spur a massive, open, collaborative effort on the Internet to understand the paper and to see if its ideas could be extended. This article explains what happened, how the proof works, and the holes experts and laymen attempted to punch in it and why the proof is still standing."

## Re:A simpler proof? Please? (Score:3, Insightful)

But we don't know that the current proof is the *only* proof. There may very well be a simpler one out there.

As for the problem simplicity vs. the proof simplicity, that's not what I said. I stated that related problems (in the same field) have simple proofs.

## Great story (Score:4, Insightful)

This has been one of the best slashdot posts in a long, long while.

I'm gonna have to renew my subscription to Science News. Kudos to Ms. Rehmeyer.

## Re:A simpler proof? Please? (Score:5, Insightful)

Science may lead to facts, but it's not an automated process. Believe it or not, human emotions and intuition are involved with every scientific discovery!

## Re:A simpler proof? Please? (Score:3, Insightful)

## Pi, what a waste of time (Score:2, Insightful)