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The biggest puzzles

Can we gain anything from a maths book so technical that only experts can keep up?

By Tom Kirkwood   March 2004

Book: The Millennium Problems Author: Keith Devlin Price: Granta, ?20

Reading “The Millennium Problems: the Seven Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Puzzles of Our Time” could be your ticket to a prize of $7m – $1m for each of the seven problems – to say nothing of the adulation you will receive from mathematicians around the world and the likelihood of a Fields medal, the equivalent in mathematical circles to a Nobel prize.

There is, however, a catch. Most of the problems in Keith Devlin’s book are so hard that not only will you have no idea how to begin solving them…

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