Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Maths muddle." News story, NewScientist, 17 January 2004, page 5.

This brief story reports on the case of the media stir caused by anannouncement by a 22-year-old student who claimed to have proved a famousmathematics problem. The student, a graduate of Stockholm University, wrote apaper purporting to solve Hilbert's 16th problem, and the paper was accepted bythe journal Nonlinear Analysis. Soon thereafter, mathematicians who readthe paper found glaring errors; the journal has retracted its acceptance. Thestudent is standing by her work, the article says, but "she will have to workhard to mend her relations with fellow mathematicians, who believe that sheshould not have talked to the media before she had talked to them."

--- Allyn Jackson