Monday, August 9, 2010

P != NP?

If you're of the right geekly sort, you know whereof I speak.  A serious attempt at a formal proof of the above has been (apparently accidentally) released on the web, by an HP scientist named Vinay Deolalikar. Big news, if the proof is confirmed.

For those of you of a slighly less geekly bent, here's the scoop in very general terms: that statement (P != NP) encapsulates something that much of modern computer science is based on, but until now nobody has never been able to prove (in the formal mathematical sense).  In that sense (and in that sense only), it's sort of like Einstein's famous E = MC2...

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