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Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen

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CHAPTER 1

Reinventing Discovery

Tim Gowers is not your typical blogger. A mathematician at Cambridge University, Gowers is a recipient of the highest honor in mathematics, the Fields Medal, often called the Nobel Prize of mathematics. His blog radiates mathematical ideas and insight.

In January 2009, Gowers decided to use his blog to run a very unusual social experiment. He picked out an important and difficult unsolved mathematical problem, a problem he said he’d “love to solve.” But instead of attacking the problem on his own, or with a few close colleagues, he decided to attack the problem completely in the open, using his blog to post ideas and partial progress. What’s more, he issued an open invitation asking other people to help out. Anyone ...

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