Mathematics by collaboration

The Polymath project harnesses the power of the Internet to use massive collaboration to solve a major problem in record time

By Julie Rehmeyer, 10:59 AM December 8, 2009

Late last January, University of Cambridge mathematician Tim Gowers decided to run a little experiment. Was it possible, he wondered, for a large number of mathematicians to collaborate openly on the Internet, pooling their ideas around a single problem? If it were possible, would it be easier, more efficient, more fun? Could the mathematicians together solve a problem they might not be able to solve individually?

So he posed a problem on his blog, one that was important and challenging and...

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