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250 votes
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Have mathematicians concluded that an Indian mathematical physicist has solved the Riemann Hypothesis?

Summary The current version of the question asks two things: Have mathematicians concluded that an Indian mathematical physicist has solved the Riemann Hypothesis? No. There isn't a single ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
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179 votes
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Did Euler make the elementary mistake √-2 √-3 = √6?

Euler did write this, but it was not a mistake! Euler's statement was correct under his own definition of the notation that he was using. I looked at the PDF version of Elements of Algebra linked to ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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134 votes
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Can you predict a number that is "randomly" chosen by a person better than chance?

Yes, humans are more predictable than random chance. It is known as the "Blue-Seven Phenomena", because when asked for a colour and a number from one to nine, these perform beyond expectation. This ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
104 votes

Did Bertrand Russell spend 360 pages in Principia Mathematica to prove 1 + 1 = 2?

If you have only studied mathematics at school, the way it works at university/academic level can be quite alien. By looking at the original Principia Mathematica, by Alfred Whitehead AND Bertrand ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
100 votes
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Did Roman jurists rule that "to learn the art of geometry and to take part in public exercises, an art as damnable as mathematics, are forbidden"?

No. They used a sentence that includes "mathematica" and condemns and forbids it, but they were not using a modern definition of "mathematician", which gives the sentence a very ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
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90 votes
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Is Chika Ofili's method for checking divisibility for 7 a "new discovery" in math?

The Math.SE question about the method (Why does Chika Ofili's method for checking divisibility for 7 work?) is closed as a duplicate of an earlier, more generic, question (Divisibility criteria for 7,...
default locale's user avatar
64 votes

Have mathematicians concluded that an Indian mathematical physicist has solved the Riemann Hypothesis?

Following up @DanRomik's full, accurate answer: I was one of the thousands of people asked to study and comment upon the original document. After a brief look, I realized that it was of a fairly ...
paul garrett's user avatar
56 votes
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Did Augustine of Hippo warn Christians to beware mathematicians?

You ask whether it's a reasonable interpretation of the text. Book IV of Augustine's Confessions (in Latin), which was cited in this answer, includes: Itaque illos planos, quos mathematicos vocant,...
ChrisW's user avatar
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46 votes

Can you predict a number that is "randomly" chosen by a person better than chance?

Human beings are really bad at picking random numbers. The reason is that we are hard-wired to identify patterns in nature -- even to the extent of seeing patterns where none exist. But while this ...
Wes Sayeed's user avatar
45 votes

Did Bertrand Russell spend 360 pages in Principia Mathematica to prove 1 + 1 = 2?

Did Bertrand Russell spend 360 pages in Principia Mathematica to prove 1 + 1 = 2? Sort of. But the phrasing of the claim (either as you stated it, or in the version "it takes over 360 pages to ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
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41 votes

Did the precedence of operations in arithmetic change since 1917?

[I edited this answer in response to the helpful comments in the chats. Thanks to everyone for their feedback!] 0. Introduction TLDR: No, none of the order of evaluation conventions changed since the ...
Dimitri Vulis's user avatar
24 votes

Did Euler make the elementary mistake √-2 √-3 = √6?

Euler did argue that √-2 √-3 = √6. Whether this is a mistake depends a lot on context. This appears in Euler's 1770 publication Elements of Algebra in Section I., Chapter XIII. (pdf link). ...
SCappella's user avatar
  • 421
22 votes

Did Augustine of Hippo warn Christians to beware mathematicians?

See Book IV of Augustine's Confessions (Project Gutenberg link). This translation is credited to E. B. Pusey. I remember also, that when I had settled to enter the lists for a theatrical prize, ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
19 votes

Did the precedence of operations in arithmetic change since 1917?

The answer to the title question is no for the simple reason that the (fuzzy, inconsistent) rules mentioned in Lennes's 1917 note are still in wide use today. I think it's important to distinguish ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 3,539
19 votes

Is Chika Ofili's method for checking divisibility for 7 a "new discovery" in math?

This and related divisibility tests are ancient and well-known to most who have mastered a first course in elementary number theory. They go back at least a couple hundred years, and possibly even ...
Bill Dubuque's user avatar
17 votes
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Is the use of X for unknown quantities taken from the Arabic word "shay"?

Most likely no. X is one of many symbols used for unknowns throughout the history of mathematics, and comes from a notation in the 1600's that used several other letters alongside X. Some Arab ...
Giter's user avatar
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15 votes
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Is "Magic: The Gathering" the world's most complicated game?

Magic: the Gathering is computationally complex, not "complicated" At least it's not "complicated" in a way that's been quantified by these sources. They appear to be confusing the ...
Alpha Draconis's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Did René Descartes develop the Cartesian coordinate system by watching a fly on the ceiling?

The book Descartes: A Very Short Introduction (which at 100 pages vastly exceed most on-line biographies of him) only has this to say on the matter Readers who are familiar with representing ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Are Asian women better at maths when they think they're competing against European men?

tl;dr; There are indications for this effect, but the research is still unconclusive. The claim as stated is probably false. The evidence This statement refers to the widely studied Stereotype ...
cero's user avatar
  • 440
12 votes
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Are there many per capitas?

Here are a few definitions of "per capita": Wikipedia: The phrase thus means "by heads" or "for each head", i.e., per individual/person. Merriam-Webster: per unit of population : by or for each ...
hdhondt's user avatar
  • 5,846
12 votes

Have mathematicians concluded that an Indian mathematical physicist has solved the Riemann Hypothesis?

"So, has the committee actually come to the conclusion that the Riemann Hypothesis has been solved by Kumar Eswaran?" Yes they did: "On the basis of the assessment, this expert ...
user1271772's user avatar
  • 1,186
10 votes

Is the difference between men and women' estimates of their number of sexual partners caused because men estimate rather than count?

There are studies that support what she is saying to some extent, but she is exaggerating. For example in Estimating number of lifetime sexual partners: Men and women do it differently 1999 (...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
10 votes

Did Augustine of Hippo warn Christians to beware mathematicians?

I'll add some more evidence to the other answers, here's what I found. From a scholarly point of view, there seem little doubt that he meant astrologers, who at the time were called mathematici or ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
  • 78.7k
10 votes

Did Bertrand Russell spend 360 pages in Principia Mathematica to prove 1 + 1 = 2?

Why do we need to prove 1+1=2 in the first place? I don't think anyone else has fully addressed this part of the question. Before this time there had been assumptions by many that arithmetic and ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Was there a person made the quote about poetry that Poincaré responded to?

Poincaré did say the one quote: We have just seen, through an example, the importance of words in mathematics, but I could cite many more cases. It is scarcely credible, as Mach said, how ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 31.6k
8 votes

Can you predict a number that is "randomly" chosen by a person better than chance?

An other approach, less to answer the question about statistics, but more about how to pull of the Trick. There are 2 Methothds that you can do this. One is trying to figure out, what number the ...
Frezzley's user avatar
  • 253
8 votes

Do higher mathematical abilities inversely correlate with good communication skills?

It depends what you mean by communication skills but at least on the level of testable verbal skills the average physics student far outstrips the average psychology or sociology student. Overall ...
Murphy's user avatar
  • 9,492
8 votes

Do Imperial units make United States children worse at maths?

Well, international tests like this aren't useful for gauging whether metric is better for math or not due to two main issues when assessing education quality on an international scale: Who gets ...
user40037's user avatar
8 votes

Is "Magic: The Gathering" the world's most complicated game?

The authors (Churchill et al) make a rather strong claim: Prior to this work, no undecidable real games were known to exist. By "real game" they seem to mean a game played with the rules ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 3,539
6 votes

Are there more 40-moves chess games than atoms in the universe?

The accepted answer is wrong, due to the fallacy of accepting a link to a another website as the truth, rather than actually doing the math. Particularly, the site http://mathworld.wolfram.com/...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k

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