tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post9162731345151930813..comments2020-07-08T16:07:18.891-07:00Comments on SearchReSearch: Wednesday Search Challenge (6/6/12): Who solves impossible problems... by accident?Dan Russellhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13603209997260423532noreply@blogger.comBlogger32125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-19267511620239635092012-06-07T08:56:37.001-07:002012-06-07T08:56:37.001-07:00I tend to double-check everything--even Snopes, ev...I tend to double-check everything--even Snopes, even the NYTimes--it's not that I'm distrustful, it's because I've found that everyone (including me!) make mistakes. Often it's unintentional, but given that it's pretty quick and usually fairly simple to verify through a second source, I think it's a good practice. So, just as you said, "it only take five more minutes to verify the citations..." and maybe another couple of minutes to get another, different source to crosscheck. <br /><br />I've just found too many errors in "usually trustworthy" sources. So I *always* check again.Dan Russellhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13603209997260423532noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-61928635149032149022012-06-07T07:14:51.470-07:002012-06-07T07:14:51.470-07:00It is interesting as a new reader to note how many...It is interesting as a new reader to note how many of my fellow researchers chose to verify their answer after finding it on snopes. <br /><br />I learned to research in the days before full text online. Using a source as authoritative as snopes (15 year track record, touchstone of popular online research) I eyeball the citations to make sure it doesn't look like the Mikkelsons have lost their minds, but I don't bother to double-check them any more than I would have double-checked the printed citations in a trusted source in 1989.<br /><br />Is this old fashioned of me? Since it only takes five more minutes to verify the citations of a trusted source, I could see adopting the practice of checking them before considering my work done -- but I also see a whole lot of five minutes spent verifying that yep, trustworthy sources are trustworthy. Thoughts?Megan Ahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07414532261309954013noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-61707919871767990272012-06-07T06:11:15.263-07:002012-06-07T06:11:15.263-07:005 mins or so:
Search "students solving impos...5 mins or so:<br /><br />Search "students solving impossible problems", grin past the lifehacker link and read the snopes entry <br />Coorelate their version by searching for "dantzig credible source"<br />Found a 1999 CNN chatpage with Jan Harold Brunvand who credit an interview with Professor Dantzig<br />Then searched "jan harold brunvand dantzig" and found an extract from "A Digression on Urban Legends and 'Falsehood'" citing Brunvand's book "The Choking Doberman" on page 282.<br /><br />I think that is more of the perfect answer. ThanksJ-Sinhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/00577221576707496610noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-30342596819874326572012-06-07T03:44:40.478-07:002012-06-07T03:44:40.478-07:00I started (incorrectly) thinking that this had som...I started (incorrectly) thinking that this had something to do with your earlier post about The Egg of Columbus or Gordian Knot. After wasting a few minutes on that I started typing in Google [student solves...] Autocomplete suggested [student solves unsolvable math problem]<br /><br />That took me to the Snopes article about George Dantzig. I was thinking it would be an urban legend and was surprised to find that it was labeled True. http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />I tried to fact check their references by trying to find a copy of the article in the College Mathematics Journal<br />["An Interview of George B. Dantzig: The Father of Linear Programming"]<br /><br />I tried looking for it at http://www.maa.org/pubs/cmj.html <br />and saw that they have many of their issues available through JSTOR. After checking every library system I have access to I had to give up. None of my libraries offer JSTOR access. <br /><br />I was able to find a few obituaries that tell his story from the interview about solving the unsolvable problems. <br />Source Citation<br />Rubenstein, Steve. "George Bernard Dantzig -- Stanford math professor." San Francisco Chronicle 16 May 2005: B3. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 6 June 2012.<br />Document URL<br />http://ic.galegroup.com.pgcmls.idm.oclc.org/ic/bic1/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=BIC1&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&mode=view&displayGroupName=News&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&sortBy=&displayGroups=&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CA132452870&userGroupName=larg70913&jsid=7e52718ef60fb2629ada745979feac89<br /><br />For the question: Has some student accidentally solved an impossible-problem by not knowing it was impossible? YES<br /><br />about 45 minuteskrossbowhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07877826327758153784noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-28854755520457115362012-06-07T01:06:37.103-07:002012-06-07T01:06:37.103-07:00http://goo.gl/B2LZq
Shouryya Ray
Dresden, Germanyhttp://goo.gl/B2LZq<br />Shouryya Ray<br />Dresden, GermanyBoiken Lekahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/01876538004735729222noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-56059559241100714052012-06-07T00:09:08.592-07:002012-06-07T00:09:08.592-07:00I took a slightly different route but also came up...I took a slightly different route but also came up with Dantzig:<br /><br />I went to books.google.com and searched for: "newton unsolvable problem chalkboard"<br /><br />The first result -- http://books.google.com/books?id=Y-0FeyoO4j0C&pg=PA79&dq=newton+unsolvable+problem+chalkboard&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dVHQT4SKKuXW2AXewqHaDA&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=newton%20unsolvable%20problem%20chalkboard&f=false -- from a book about business complexity has the Dantzig story.<br /><br />The second result -- http://books.google.com/books?id=qCehlw21nwgC&pg=PA279&dq=newton+unsolvable+problem+chalkboard&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dVHQT4SKKuXW2AXewqHaDA&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=newton%20unsolvable%20problem%20chalkboard&f=false -- from a book about urban legends has the Dantzig tale too, however, it also has a related story of 23-year old University of Chicago student Robert Garisto who discovered an error in Newton's equations which were at the time 350 years old. Interesting.<br /><br />Total search time < 1 minute.Robhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/12356190783053349629noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-28198243430311888422012-06-06T19:12:12.636-07:002012-06-06T19:12:12.636-07:00It took under 1 minute, same way as previous comme...It took under 1 minute, same way as previous commenters.<br /><br />An Indian/German student, Shouryya Ray, was recently credited in the press with solving an old problem posed by Newton 350 years ago. I was curious, I found a neat paper written by Prof. Dr. Ralph Chill and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Voigt disproving the claim.<br /><br />“Nevertheless all his steps are basically known to experts, and we emphasize that he did not solve an open problem posed by Newton.”<br /><br />http://tu-dresden.de/die_tu_dresden/fakultaeten/fakultaet_mathematik_und_naturwissenschaften/fachrichtung_mathematik/institute/analysis/chill/dateien/CommentsRay.pdfAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-63489563501294604302012-06-06T18:39:55.002-07:002012-06-06T18:39:55.002-07:00...except he didn't. This is media hype...except he didn't. This is media hypeAnonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-28291627633323545452012-06-06T15:09:39.914-07:002012-06-06T15:09:39.914-07:00The student was George Bernard Dantzig, and he ...The student was George Bernard Dantzig, and he 'solved two open problems in statistical theory which he had mistaken for homework after arriving late to a lecture of Jerzy Neyman.' (see his wikipedia page)<br /><br />Sources <br /><br /> - http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br /> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dantzig (yes wikipedia IS credible)<br /><br /> - D J Albers, G L Alexanderson and C Reid, More mathematical people. Contemporary conversations (Boston, MA, 1990).<br /><br /> - Time taken: about 2 mins to find a result, 8 mins for the sources -Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/14637610765318787608noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-34442739602913146032012-06-06T15:03:50.517-07:002012-06-06T15:03:50.517-07:00http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable....http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.aspAnonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16336967600120938410noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-42623105351947030892012-06-06T14:46:07.413-07:002012-06-06T14:46:07.413-07:00George Bernard Dantzing
took a very short time
...George Bernard Dantzing<br /><br />took a very short time <br /><br /><br />5:42 PM<br />student solves impossible problem - Google Search<br />www.google.com<br /><br />5:41 PM<br />student solved unknown problem - Google Search<br />www.google.com<br /><br />5:41 PM<br />solved unknown problem - Google Search<br />www.google.com<br /><br />5:41 PM<br />solve unknown problem - Google Search<br />www.google.com<br /><br />led me to <br />http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />full story is thereBlackJackTFMhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/15004476032549945525noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-45369049588059894582012-06-06T14:29:48.877-07:002012-06-06T14:29:48.877-07:00This may not be the "impossible" problem...This may not be the "impossible" problem mentioned - but it seems that George Bernard Dantzig performed a similar feat in 1939 by creating proofs for as-yet unsolved statistics problems at UC Berkeley during a graduate-level stats exam.<br /><br />http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br /><br />Query: "Student solve impossible problem" from the lovely Drive-in google intro page.Matt Beatyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11765505561263780982noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-71770206089182788922012-06-06T14:24:32.900-07:002012-06-06T14:24:32.900-07:005 minutes - indian boy who solved math problem -&g...5 minutes - indian boy who solved math problem -> http://ibnlive.in.com/news/indian-boy-solves-350yearold-math-problem/261730-2.htmlAnonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17193546712588060312noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-66822928020883520592012-06-06T14:17:30.382-07:002012-06-06T14:17:30.382-07:00This was not that difficult (although it looked it...This was not that difficult (although it looked it). It took about 10 minutes to get the right answer (but 2 minutes or less to get my first try - and a few minutes checking to see if it was correct). So actual searching - 2-3 minutes. <br /><br />My first attempts used Google with these search terms:<br />"solved by accident" "maths problem"<br />I made an assumption that the type of problem that would match would have to be a maths problem - as those are the ones that seem impossible to solve, but do get solved (e.g. like Fermat's last theorem). <br /><br />That quickly brought up a very recent news story about Shouryya Ray, a schoolboy who reported solved a puzzle "posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years".<br />http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150225/Shouryya-Ray-solves-puzzles-posed-Sir-Isaac-Newton-baffled-mathematicians-350-years.html#ixzz1x34iFcSy<br /><br />The problem with this is that on further searching it seems that the solution he came up with wasn't new, and as Ray was entering a competition I'm not sure that "accidental" is the right description for what Ray achieved. <br /><br />So I carried on searching. I reasoned that the chances are that if this had happened, the mathematician would be known and important. So I tried: <br />"impossible problem" mathematicians solved<br /><br />The 2nd link was: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/geek-trivia-the-math-behind-the-myth/6040689 <br /><br />The story repeats the idea of whether this was an urban myth and says no - naming George Bernard Dantzig<br /><br />Looking him up gave lots of references - all mentioning his solving an impossible problem as a student by turning up late and not knowing the problem was unsolved. <br /><br />His obituary is as good a reference as any as it's from Stanford. <br />http://news.stanford.edu/news/2006/june7/memldant-060706.html and also http://www.stanford.edu/group/SOL/GBD/cottle-johnson-wets-2007.pdf<br /><br />So the answer is:<br />WHO: George Bernard Dantzig<br />WHERE: University of California, Berkeley<br />WHEN: 1939 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dantzig)<br />HOW: Dantzig arrived late to a lecture by the Statistics professor, Jerzy Neyman. He copied down two problems from the blackboard thinking that they were homework assignments. They were in fact open, unsolved questions - but Dantzig solved them (although he thought that they were harder than usual). <br />WHAT: Two statistical problems - one connected to "Student's" Hypothesis and power functions, and the 2nd to do with the Neyman Pearson lemma. (Reference 12 in http://www.stanford.edu/group/SOL/GBD/cottle-johnson-wets-2007.pdf)Arthur Weisshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10213417718516627413noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-69972000101691420402012-06-06T14:15:22.219-07:002012-06-06T14:15:22.219-07:00George Dantzig.
http://www.snopes.com/college/hom...George Dantzig.<br /><br />http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />I just googled "dantzig unsolved problem student" which lead to the dantzig wikipedia entry (because i recalled that it was dantzig :)<br /><br />but if you just google "unsolved problem student" it leads directly to the snopes entry about dantzig.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-73898918413673429862012-06-06T14:14:24.870-07:002012-06-06T14:14:24.870-07:00George Bernard Danzig solved a statistics problem ...George Bernard Danzig solved a statistics problem that he believed to be a part of a homework assignment. They are more accurately not unsolvable problems, but unproven statistical theorems for which he worked out proofs. References to prove the validity of this claim are located at http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp, and the search was done in google by searching for "student solves impossible math problem" and clicking on the first link. It took about 20 seconds.Tweedlesmarthttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16702582316917244283noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-5638636644156763542012-06-06T14:10:43.882-07:002012-06-06T14:10:43.882-07:00George Dantzig - the theorems are described in the...George Dantzig - the theorems are described in these papers:<br /><br />G. B. Dantzig, On the non-existence of tests of “Student’s” hypothesis having power functions in- dependent of sigma, Ann. Math. Stat. 11 (1940), 186–192.<br /><br />G. B. Dantzig and A. Wald, On the fundamental lemma of Neyman and Pearson, Ann. Math. Stat. 22 (1951), 87–93.<br /><br />Not impossible, just not solved at the time. Found the initial story by googling "solved impossible problem homework", then "george danzig unsolved problems", then "theorems george dantzig proved as homework". Took about 10 mins.LeWebhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10780539719991256147noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-53687870052392238762012-06-06T14:08:35.393-07:002012-06-06T14:08:35.393-07:00George Dantzig, graduate student at UC Berkley in ...George Dantzig, graduate student at UC Berkley in 1939. Near the beginning of class, professor wrote 2 famously unsolved statistical problems on the board. Arriving late, Dantzing believed this to be homework and, though it was "harder than usual," turned the solutions in a few days later.<br />Solved linear programming problems with the creation of the simplex algorithm. Later, when struggling for a thesis topic, the teacher just accepted these solutions in a binder.<br /><br />Time to answer: 3 minutes<br />Search string (newest to oldest:<br />started out with teacher/student impossible, problems, etc; moved to "real life good will hunting" but discovered it was a janitor with a high iq - not one that had solved a problem; switched to "real life good will hunting solved problem" to narrow the results). Snopes was the 3rd result with this and gave me the answer, Wikipedia confirmed.Sammy Dhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/02245482014520158080noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-39364689181394477292012-06-06T14:06:28.021-07:002012-06-06T14:06:28.021-07:004 clicks, 3 minutes:
Google "true story insp...4 clicks, 3 minutes:<br /><br />Google "true story inspiration for good will hunting"<br /><br />Clicked the second link: http://www.forumgarden.com/forums/science/50269-real-good-will-hunting.html ....nope, different story<br /><br />Scanned the page, fourth link down:<br />www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />....snopes mentioned him by name: George Dantzig<br /><br />Wikipedia from that point, read the "Mathematical statistics" subsection. 2 references listed in the Wikipedia entry.Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10289777101547835141noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-65854719551169823832012-06-06T13:59:29.538-07:002012-06-06T13:59:29.538-07:00Found with one search of "student impossible ...Found with one search of "student impossible problem" on google. First item was http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />who: George Dantzig<br />where: University of California, Berkeley<br />when: 1939<br />how: statistics class in Neyman's classAnonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/02495857355343721059noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-37470691185605790842012-06-06T13:51:36.989-07:002012-06-06T13:51:36.989-07:00I just googled "student solves proof"
I...I just googled "student solves proof"<br /><br />It came up on Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />Albers, Donald J. and Constance Reid.<br /> "An Interview of George B. Dantzig: The Father of Linear Programming."<br /> College Mathematics Journal. Volume 17, Number 4; 1986 (pp. 293-314).<br /><br /> Brunvand, Jan Harold. Curses! Broiled Again!<br /> New York: W. W. Norton, 1989. ISBN 0-393-30711-5 (pp. 278-283).<br /><br /> Dantzig, George B.<br /> "On the Non-Existence of Tests of 'Student's' Hypothesis Having Power Functions <br /> Independent of Sigma."<br /> Annals of Mathematical Statistics. No. 11; 1940 (pp. 186-192).<br /><br /> Dantzig, George B. and Abraham Wald. "On the Fundamental Lemma of Neyman and Pearson."<br /> Annals of Mathematical Statistics. No. 22; 1951 (pp. 87-93).<br /><br /> Pearce, Jeremy. "George B. Dantzig Dies at 90."<br /> The New York Times. 23 May 2005.Keith Khttps://www.blogger.com/profile/12896810519969762140noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-52872007538119180842012-06-06T13:51:10.985-07:002012-06-06T13:51:10.985-07:00A quick Google search for "student solves imp...A quick Google search for "student solves impossible problem" revealed a Snopes.com article (http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp) Searching for "george dantzig obituary" revealed the Washington Post obituary here:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR2005051802171.html.Stephenhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03883154968684957841noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-5807445591233431992012-06-06T13:47:02.585-07:002012-06-06T13:47:02.585-07:00Took me around 30 seconds. I googled "impossi...Took me around 30 seconds. I googled "impossible math problem solved" and read the third hit, from Snopes:<br /><br />http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />George Bernard Dantzig is the solver, and the article cites sources such as first-hand interviews with the solver.Matt Gagnehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/12935674820753613805noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-57454603434757032512012-06-06T11:23:38.072-07:002012-06-06T11:23:38.072-07:00Answer: Yes.
Methodology:
[ unsolved problem ac...Answer: Yes. <br /><br />Methodology:<br /><br />[ unsolved problem accidentally solved by student ]<br />The second search result leads to a snopes.com article at http://goo.gl/UqaIk about one George Bernard Dantzig (1914-2005) who worked out proofs to two then-unproved statistical theorems that he mistook to be homework problems after his professor had written them on a chalkboard in 1939. <br /><br />The Wikipedia entry for George Dantzig points to the following reference:<br /><br />Cottle, Richard; Johnson, Ellis; Wets, Roger, "George B. Dantzig (1914-2005)", Notices of the American Mathematical Society, v.54, no.3, March 2007. (Available at http://goo.gl/wSf5c )<br /><br />which states: <br /><br />"Arriving late to one of Neyman’s classes,Dantzig saw two problems written on the blackboard and mistook them for a homework assignment. He found them more challenging than usual, but managed to solve them and submitted them directly to Neyman. As it turned out, these problems were actually two open questions in the theory of mathematical statistics."<br /><br />Time: 15 seconds to find the snopes.com article; another 10 minutes to read it and find the reference on Dantzig's Wikipedia page.Steve H.https://www.blogger.com/profile/15462283118332151326noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-4953008377950396317.post-5126548932632685042012-06-06T08:57:11.434-07:002012-06-06T08:57:11.434-07:00This took me about 30min to complete.
It seems Ge...This took me about 30min to complete.<br /><br />It seems George Dantzig did this in 1939 while he was a graduate student at UC Berkeley.<br /><br />First I started with a search on "Solve Impossible Math Problem". Which actually led me to http://www.snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp<br /><br />There I learned of George Dantzig.<br /><br />Google Search "George Dantzig" to find further proof led me to:<br /><br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dantzig<br />http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Dantzig_George.html<br />D J Albers, G L Alexanderson and C Reid, More mathematical people. Contemporary conversations (Boston, MA, 1990).<br />D J Albers and C Reid, An interview with George B. Dantzig : the father of linear programming, College Math. J. 17 (4) (1986), 293-314.<br />http://www.umass.edu/wsp/statistics/tales/dantzig.html<br />http://www.ams.org/notices/200703/fea-cottle.pdf<br /><br />All of these give the same story, that while he was at UC Berkley, he was late to class copied down two Statistical Problems from the board and thought they were homework problems. He handed them in and 6 weeks later his professor (Jerzy Neyman) said they were ready for publication.<br /><br />Of course this story was later used in Good Will Hunting and Rushmore.Aricellehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11214319492371972055noreply@blogger.com