In September, Katie and Paul spent a week blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.
5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2017, Heidelberg, Germany, Picture/Credit: Christian Flemming/HLF
The closing talk of the HLF’s main lecture programme (before the young researchers and laureates head off to participate in scientific interaction with SAP representatives to discuss maths and computer science in industry) was given by Fields Medalist Steve Smale.
You may remember a story, widely reported, that 16 year old student Shouryya Ray from Dresden had solved “puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years“. You may have read our write up of this, which concluded that
it is likely that some piece of impressive work has been completed and Shouryya Ray is to be commended. However, pending further information on the work, we are now fairly convinced that this is being overblown by the press reports.
You may also remember that some reports had Ray coming across the problems “during a school trip to Dresden University where professors claimed they were uncrackable”. Now an open letter has appeared on the webpages of the Technische Universität Dresden signed by Prof. Dr. Ralph Chill and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Voigt, which offers some answers.
The Daily Mail reports that a “schoolboy ‘genius'” has solved “puzzles” “posed by” Issac Newton that have “baffled mathematicians for 350 years”. There are many nonsense warning signs but also hints that something interesting is going on.