Posted by: bluesyemre | March 6, 2013

In Computers We Trust? As math grows ever more complex, will computers reign? by Natalie Wolchover

This simple computation, written with a math software tool called Maple, verifies a formula for the number of integer triangles with a given perimeter. (Illustration: Simons Science News)

  • Shalosh B. Ekhad, the co-author of several papers in respected mathematics journals, has been known to prove with a single, succinct utterance theorems and identities that previously required pages of mathematical reasoning. Last year, when asked to evaluate a formula for the number of integer triangles with a given perimeter, Ekhad performed 37 calculations in less than a second and delivered the verdict: “True.” Shalosh B. Ekhad is a computer. Or, rather, it is any of a rotating cast of computers used by the mathematician Doron Zeilberger, from the Dell in his New Jersey office to a supercomputer whose services he occasionally enlists in Austria. The name — Hebrew for “three B one” — refers to the AT&T 3B1, Ekhad’s earliest incarnation.

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