Terence Tao solved Erdős discrepancy problem

A mathematical puzzle that resisted solution for 80 years — including computerized attempts to crack it — seems to have yielded to a single mathematician.

Terence Tao,
a mathematician at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a winner of the Fields Medal in 2006, submitted a paper1 to the arXiv preprint server on 17 September that claims to prove a number theory conjecture posed by mathematician Paul Erdős in the 1930s.

Tao’s proof comes after years of attempts to solve the problem by hand and computer.

In February of 2014, researchers presented a computer proof for a special case of the conjecture. They showed that it is always possible to find a sum that is bigger than 2 but failed to prove that there is always a sum bigger than 3. Tao’s proof demonstrates that there is always a sum bigger than any finite number.
Paul Erdős and Terence Tao study maths at the University of Adelaide in Australia, in a photo taken when Tao was 10 years old.

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