Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Graph Theory Uncovers the Roots of Perfection," by Dana Mackenzie. Science, 5 July 2002, page 38.

Mackenzie writes of a proposed proof of the strong perfect graph conjecture. The conjecture was formulated by Claude Berge in 1960 and involves characterizing perfect graphs according to whether they have an "odd hole" or an "odd anti-hole." The submitted proof is by Paul Seymour, G. Neil Robertson, Robin Thomas, and Maria Chudnovsky. Should it be correct, and published, the four will earn a prize of US$10,000, offered by Gerard Cornuejols. Quotes in the article from mathematicians indicate that they think that the proof is substantially correct.

--- Mike Breen

American Mathematical Society