Now that many competitives are over it's time to get our attention back to research work.
So what is a polymath project?
Polymath project can be though of as a coordinated effort among a group of people in order to solve a interesting yet difficult (and occasionally open) problem. You must be familiar to this idea if you have heard of CrowdMath before (problems here will be way easier than CrowdMath).
A fresh problem will be selected and then several attempts will be made to solve it or improve the previous attempt.
What kind of topic will appear?
A variety of mathematical or programming related topics will be discussed and then the most interesting ones which the community supports will be picked. Topics will mainly be of elementary level and no more than high school mathematical background will be required to participate.
Examples of topics will include
- Prove/disprove that a magic square can be constructed such that each number in it is distinct and a perfect square (currently open).
- Given any 2 Rubik's cube configurations, write an algorithm to find the minimum numbers of moves required to reach the second configuration from the first one. (Major progress has been done on this problem. It is proved that the number of moves will always be less than 26 in quarter turn metric or 20 in half turn metric. However, how to solve the above problem efficiently is still not known).
Apart from such topics, an open source project which can solve/simplify an existing problem will also be considered.
How will contributions work?
There will be vaguely two categories of contributors. First category will be the active contributors who will actively discuss and maintain code for example. The second category will contain passive contributors which will provide ideas and help to solve problems. Passive contributors will only be required to devote a small amount of time each week.
For this project to be successful, it would need at least 3-4 active contributors. I would love to hear who is interested in participating. If you have a question or anything else to share do comment!
As a sidenote, in case of any successful attempt, credit will be given equally to every contributors.