His prospects of answering one of the biggest questions in mathematics may be fading, but Vinay Deolalikar of Hewlett-Packard Labs in Palo Alto, California, may still have made his mark. His proposed proof of the "P versus NP" problem led to a flurry of online activity that points to a new way of doing mathematics—via blogs and wikis.
"It was at least the catalyst for some very interesting discussion and developments," says Terence Tao at the University of California, Los Angeles, one of several computer scientists and mathematicians who have raced to make sense of the proof since it exploded onto the web last week.
Much of this activity took place on the blog of Richard Lipton, a computer scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A wiki was also set up to gather opinions on the proof, which if true sets limits on what computers can do, with implications for cryptography.
From New Scientist
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