[RC5] Beal's Problem A DN challenge?

Greg Wooledge wooledge at kellnet.com
Tue Jul 6 21:00:17 EDT 1999


Bachrach (bachrach at bigfoot.com) wrote:

> It's not so much the open ended-ness of it, but the fact that it can't
> really be done by a computer at all. To formulate a proof the person doing
> the proof must use their own mind and ingenuity to try and find a way from
> point A to point B that hasn't been discovered before. There is no set
> instructions that you could instruct a computer to follow that would result
> in an answer. The computer can't think, and proving a theorem requires just
> that.

There are programs out there which attempt to prove theorems by brute
force.  The computer must be programmed with the range of all possible
manipulations which may be done to the equation.  Then it tries them all
in a recursive search pattern until it arrives at the answer, or is told
to stop.

This is a branch of artificial intelligence.  Of course, the computer
isn't really *thinking* -- but sometimes, it does get the job done.

Unfortunately for us, this is not the kind of problem that parallelizes
well -- so it's not really a good candidate for distributed.net.

-- 
Greg Wooledge                    | Distributed.NET http://www.distributed.net/
wooledge at kellnet.com             | because a CPU is a terrible thing to waste.
http://www.kellnet.com/wooledge/ |

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