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A team of researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology has built what they describe as a Ramanujan machine—a device that automatically generates conjectures (mathematical statements that are proposed as true statements) for fundamental constants. They have written a paper describing their device and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server. They have also created a webpage for people who wish to allow the network to use their computer's process cycles, suggest a proof or develop code toward new mathematical structures.
The Ramanujan machine is named for famed Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician who grew up in India and was "discovered" by fellow mathematician G.H. Hardy. After moving to England, he became a fixture at Cambridge, where he shook up the math world with his unorthodox mathematics—instead of pounding away at math proofs, he obtained results to famous problems through intuition and then let others find the proofs for them. Because of this, he was sometimes described as a conjecture machine, pulling formulas out of...
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