Stop Press: mathematicians being social?

online-collaboration

People forget that the internet was invented in the early 1960s as a tool for sharing information on research at universities. C.R. Licklider of MIT and Leonard Kleinrock of UCLA began experimenting with connecting two computers over a standard telephone line.

These days all the talk about the internet is Rock Star programmers making it rich, companies worth billions without ever turning a profit, big brother watching over us and all the other headline grabbing news.

However real research and real collaboration is happening amongst the people who the internet was initially designed for. Chancing upon a copy of  New Scientist Issue #2811- I came across a great article on an online collaboration project called Polymath.

It is a project set up by two mathematicians whereby complex mathematical problems are placed on their website and anyone interested can try and solve the mathematical stumbling block. Many of these people are professors in mathematics but also enthusiastic amateurs can contribute to the project.

The first analysis is in, and the speed and efficiency to which some problems were solved has been exceptionally positive.

Just goes to show many minds make problem solving easy.

This is a direct quote from the article- its too good to paraphrase;

‘The rise of a global mathematical brain may even help redefine what it means to be clever. As Luca Trevisan of Stanford University has remarked, genius “could just be in the union of many minds, each doing nothing more than saying what is obvious to them”.
 
 
Small Business Ideas - 11 May 2011 - by Rob Jennings

About Rob Jennings

When he found himself embroiled in a conversation with someone talking about their ‘customer-centric core competencies’ he realised it was time to create a Web Design Agency that was less about self promoting buzz-words and more about people and giving them the tools to understand the web.

The idea behind We Push Buttons was to create an environment where business owners can learn about building their organisation, whether it be with an outstanding website, SEO or any other marketing ideas. Coming from the art industry and online retail background he knows first hand the needs of growing a business in a tough environment.