Mar 10, 2009 | 3
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2009)—Eric Larson, 17, of Eugene, Ore., took home the top prize at this year's Intel Science Talent Search here—a $100,000 scholarship—for "classifying mathematical objects called fusion categories." His work, according to Intel, "describes these in certain dimensions for the first time."
Here, we will attempt to explain what that means. (We expect readers sharper than we are to do a better job, so please comment away.) Fusion categories are a discipline of group theory. Basically, a group is a collection of actions that is self contained. Rubik's Cube is a good example of group theory: You can do twist a, then twist b, and the result will always be contained in the set of allowed moves.
Larson took second place in December in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, and he's published on the subject in arxiv. Here's what Siemens had to say about his project last year:
Jan 8, 2009 | 20
Educrats may bemoan the sorry state of American students' performance in math and science relative to their peers overseas, but the kids themselves are enthusiastic about pursuing brainiac careers.
Some 85 percent of kids surveyed by the Lemelson–M.I.T. Invention Index, an annual survey that examines Americans' attitudes about innovation, said they were interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to results released yesterday. The phone survey was conducted in November among 501 kids ages 12 to 17.
But nearly two-thirds polled said they may ultimately pursue other professions because they don’t have a mentor or understand what's involved in a science, math or engineering career.
Sep 15, 2008 | 1
Prime numbers have long held a special appeal among the mathematically minded, from the Greek astronomer Eratosthenes, who devised a method for finding primes some 2,200 years ago, to the cryptographers who made them the foundation of today’s encryption protocols. Primes, each of which is divisible only by 1 and itself, have even been subject to claims of numerical ownership: California computer consultant Roger Schlafly patented two of them in 1994.
Now, the distributed-computing consortium that discovered the six largest known primes is set to unveil two more—including, possibly, a $100,000 prize–winning whopper. (We reported on the preliminary findings last month.) The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), started in 1996, looks for prime numbers of the form 2n – 1, known as Mersenne primes, of which 44 have been identified so far (the new additions would be numbers 45 and 46).
Deadline: Jul 30 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Seeker desires a method for producing pseudoephedrine products in such a way that it will be extremely difficult for clandestine che
Deadline: Jul 25 2013
This challenge provides an opportunity for Solvers to build a web-based or mobile “app” to explore data relationships in scholarly conte
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