The Frontiers of Mathematics

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Seven mathematics questions for the new Millenium. It’s becoming something of a tradition. At the dawn of the 20th century, German mathematician David Hilbert posed twenty-three problems for his colleagues to solve during the coming 100 years.

Now the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge has come up with a list of seven questions to challenge the mathematical mind. The big seven exist in a world of pure abstraction, a world of algorithms and polynomial time solutions — a world that stretches the bounds of language to explain.

But these questions also have resonance in our physical world. The answers to them can lead to deeper understanding of the universe, greater computational speed for computers, and safer design for airplanes. And perhaps in the act of solving one of these questions a door might be opened to the equation that shows even deeper truths.

Oh, and did we mention that there is a cash prize of one million dollars per question to the mathematician who finds the answer?
(Hosted by Michael Goldfarb)


Arthur Jaffe, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Clay Mathematics Institute

Andrew Wiles, Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and solver of the famous Fermat’s Last Theorem

and Barry Mazur, Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University