Sci-Fi Writer Greg Egan and Anonymous Math Whiz Advance Permutation Problem | Quanta Magazine

31 bookmarks. First posted by aebraddy 11 weeks ago.

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

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8 weeks ago by gmisra

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a

10 weeks ago by severin.smith

How a 4chan Post Helped Solve a 25-Year-Old Math Puzzle

On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi…

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On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi…

10 weeks ago by poploser

Sci-Fi Writer Greg Egan and Anonymous 4chan Math Whiz Advance Permutation Problem | Quanta Magazine

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10 weeks ago by lemonodor

On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi…

from instapaper
10 weeks ago by loganrhyne

On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. via Pocket

research
10 weeks ago by dougleigh

10 weeks ago
by rwhe

On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya'. Season one of the show, which involves time travel, had originally aired in non-chronological order, and a re-broadcast and a DVD version had each further rearranged the episodes. Fans were arguing online about the best order to watch the episodes, and the 4chan poster wondered: If viewers wanted to see the series in every possible order, what is the shortest list of episodes they’d have to watch?

In less than an hour, an anonymous person offered an answer — not a complete solution, but a lower bound on the number of episodes required. The argument, which covered series with any number of episodes, showed that for the 14-episode first season of Haruhi, viewers would have to watch at least 93,884,313,611 episodes to see all possible orderings. “Please look over [the proof] for any loopholes I might have missed,” the anonymous poster wrote.

The proof slipped under the radar of the mathematics community for seven years — apparently only one professional mathematician spotted it at the time, and he didn’t check it carefully. But in a plot twist last month, the Australian science fiction novelist Greg Egan proved a new upper bound on the number of episodes required. Egan’s discovery renewed interest in the problem and drew attention to the lower bound posted anonymously in 2011. Both proofs are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

10 weeks ago by jm

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

mathematics
10 weeks ago by a4j

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

math
weird
10 weeks ago by andyhuey

RT @fanf: - SF writer Greg Egan and anonymous 4chan poster advance permutation problem.

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11 weeks ago by DRMacIver

Being Quanta this is obviously much better than the other articles tgat have appeared so far. Something not conveyed, and I think difficult to convey, is how most mathematicians would view this as essentially ‘recreational’, unlike Quanta’s usual fare.

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internet
11 weeks ago by tkmharris

RT @fanf: - SF writer Greg Egan and anonymous 4chan poster advance permutation problem.

from twitter
11 weeks ago by pozorvlak

Now, Houston and Pantone, joined by Vince Vatter of the University of Florida in Gainesville, have written up the formal argument. In their paper, they list the first author as “Anonymous 4chan Poster.”

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11 weeks ago by imaginaryfriend