Has a Nigerian Professor Solved a 156-Year-Old Math Problem?

Probably not
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 5:40 PM CST
Has a Nigerian Professor Solved a 156-Year-Old Math Problem?

"I know this will come to you as a surprise because you do not know me, prestigious mathematical institute. I am Dr. Opeyemi Enoch of Nigeria, and I have solved your unsolvable math problem. Please send me $1 million prize, and I believe that at the end of the day, you will have my proof." The BBC set off a minor academic shockwave Tuesday when it reported on a Nigerian professor who claims to have solved the Riemann Hypothesis—one of seven Millennium Problems in Mathematics with a $1 million prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute attached. He tells the BBC his students convinced him to solve the 156-year-old problem, and he did it because they believed in him. According to Yahoo, the Hypothesis was first proposed by Bernard Riemann in 1859 and has to do with the distribution of prime numbers.

Despite the BBC asking Enoch what he plans on doing with his winnings, not everyone is convinced the prize is his. CNN reports the institute still considers the problem unsolved, as Enoch hasn't contacted them, published his solution, or even made his solution public. Aperiodical did a little digging on Enoch and his claim. According to the mathematics blog, Enoch is apparently taking credit for someone else's paper on the Riemann Hypothesis, though he did discover a scientific method for identifying if someone is on an evil mission. Other revelations about Enoch's claim include broken links, empty websites, fake-sounding URLs, and poorly attended conferences. (A lot of mathematicians have met awful fates.)

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