Monday, June 10, 2013

The Heart-warming Story of Yitang Zhang's Proof

It's been over a month and a half since Yitang Zhang emerged from obscurity and "announced a proof that there are infinitely many pairs of consecutive primes with a gap at most 70 million" (wikipedia).

Wired in a nice piece (originally featured on Simons Science News) entitled "Unknown Mathematician Proves Elusive Property of Prime Numbers" retells the story of the announcement.
“Basically, no one knows him,” said Andrew Granville, a number theorist at the Université de Montréal. “Now, suddenly, he has proved one of the great results in the history of number theory.” 
Zhang said he feels no resentment about the relative obscurity of his career thus far. “My mind is very peaceful. I don’t care so much about the money, or the honor,” he said. “I like to be very quiet and keep working by myself.”
From every angle, a feel-good science/math story (like this and this). 

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