If you’re a Tampa Bay Rays fan, then Professor Bruce Bukiet, a mathematician at New Jersey’s Institute of Technology, is your friend this year. In his eighth year predicting who will win the World Series, American baseball’s highest crown, Bukiet has announced that the Rays have an overall 59% chance of winning the series.
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For centuries people have debated whether – like scientific truths – mathematics is discoverable, or if it is simply invented by the minds of our great mathematicians. But two questions are raised, one for each side of the coin. For those who believe these mathematical truths are purely discoverable, where, exactly, are you looking? And for those on the other side of the court, why cannot a mathematician simply announce to the world that he has invented 2 + 2 to equal 5.
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Do you have what it takes to win one million dollars? All you have to do is solve a math problem. And there are seven of these problems. Seven million dollars – easy money. Well… it’s not as easy as it sounds.
These seven problems are known as the Millennium Problems, so named since a prize was announced in 2000. The Clay Mathematics Institute, which would award the money to a winner, was founded by Landon Clay, an American businessman and mathematics enthusiast, to create a greater awareness in the field of mathematics and guarantee continued research.
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