The world’s 23 toughest math questions


Those wacky folks at he the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have put out a research request it calls Mathematical Challenges, that has the mighty goal of “dramatically revolutionizing mathematics and thereby strengthening DoD’s scientific and technological capabilities.”

The challenges are in fact 23 questions that if answered, would offer a high potential for major mathematical breakthroughs, DARPA said. So if you have ever wanted to settle the Riemann Hypothesis, which I won’t begin to describe but it is one of the great unanswered questions in math history, experts say. Or perhaps you’ve always had a theory about Dark Energy, which in a nutshell holds that the universe is ever-expanding, this may be your calling.

DARPA perhaps obviously states research grants will be awarded individually but doesn’t say how much they’d be worth. The agency does say you’d need to submit your research plan by Sept. 29, 2009.

So if you’re game, take your pick of the following questions and have at it.

(via Kottke)