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April 26, 2011

Polymath wiki logo

by Michael Nielsen

Many people have contributed striking logos for the Polymath wiki. It seems to me that there’s now enough suggestions to have a good conversation about which logo to use, and (perhaps) how the logos could be improved, if that’s what people want. I suggest having that conversation at the talk page for the logo.

February 14, 2011

A logo for the Polymath wiki

by Michael Nielsen

The Polymath wiki needs a logo. Can you suggest or even design one?

May 1, 2010

Introduction to the Polymath Project and “Density Hales-Jewett and Moser Numbers”

by Michael Nielsen

In January of 2009, Tim Gowers initiated an experiment in massively collaborative mathematics, the Polymath Project. The initial stage of this project was extremely successful, and led to two scientific papers: “A new proof of the density Hales-Jewett theorem” and “Density Hales-Jewett and Moser numbers”. The second of these papers will soon appear in a […]

August 9, 2009


by Michael Nielsen

The Polymath4 Project is now underway, with the first formal post here. The basic problem is very simple and appealing: it’s to find a deterministic algorithm which will quickly generate a prime of at least some given length, ideally in time polynomial in that length. There are fast algorithms which will generate such a prime […]

July 28, 2009

The Polymath blog

by Michael Nielsen

Earlier this year, Tim Gowers started a project in massively collaborative mathematics – an open approach to solving mathematical problems using blogs and wikis. The first iteration of this “Polymath Project” was very successful (see also Terry Tao’s recent mini-Polymath), and new iterations are now being planned. To help with that process, Terry Tao has […]

March 25, 2009

On scaling up the Polymath project

by Michael Nielsen

Tim Gowers has an interesting post on the problem of scaling up the Polymath project to involve more contributors. Here are a few comments on the start of Tim’s post. I’ll return to the remainder of the post tomorrow: As I have already commented, the outcome of the Polymath experiment differed in one important respect […]

March 20, 2009

The Polymath project: scope of participation

by Michael Nielsen

As I’ve mentioned before, over the past seven weeks mathematician Tim Gowers has been running a remarkable experiment in how mathematics is done, a project he dubbed the Polymath1 project. Using principles similar to those employed in open source programming projects, he used blogs and a wiki to organize an open mathematical collaboration attempting to […]

February 9, 2009

Update on the polymath project

by Michael Nielsen

A few brief comments on the first iteration of the polymath project, Tim Gowers’ ongoing experiment in collaborative mathematics: The project is remarkably active, with nearly 300 substantive mathematical comments in just the first week. It shows few signs of slowing down. It’s perhaps not (yet) a “massively” collaborative project, but many mathematicians are contributing […]

February 3, 2009

The polymath project

by Michael Nielsen

Tim Gower’s experiment in massively collaborative mathematics is now underway. He’s dubbed it the “polymath project” – if you want to see posts related to the project, I suggest looking here. The problem to be attacked can be understood (though probably not solved) with only a little undergraduate mathematics. It concerns a result known as […]

January 25, 2012

On Elsevier

by Michael Nielsen

Elsevier is the world’s largest and most profitable scientific publisher, making a profit of 1.1 billion dollars on revenue of 3.2 billion dollars in 2009. Elsevier have also been involved in many dubious practices, including the publishing of fake medical journals sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and the publication of what are most kindly described as […]