Monday 5 December 2016

Professor becomes a millionaire after cracking 150-year-old maths conundrum

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 17/11/2015 | 13:45

Dr Opeyemi Enoch
Credit:Twitter/ThisisAfrica
Dr Opeyemi Enoch Credit:Twitter/ThisisAfrica

A professor has received a prize of $1 million (€936,951) for cracking a complex maths puzzle that had remained unsolved for 150 years.

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Dr Opeyemi Enoch, a Nigerian national from the Federal University in Oye Ekit, produced a solution to the Riemann Hypothesis, which was first proposed by a German mathematician in 1859.

The hypothesis is one of the 'seven millennium problems' in mathematics.

The academic announced his findings at the International Conference of Mathematics and Computer Science in Austria, 156 years to the day since it was put forward for discussion by Riemann.

"Dr Enoch first investigated and then established the claims of Riemann," a spokesman from the Federal University said.

"He went on to consider and to correct the misconceptions that were communicated by mathematicians in the past generations, thus paving way for his solutions and proofs to be established.

"He also showed how other problems of this kind can be formulated and obtained the matrix that Hilbert and Poly predicted will give these undiscovered solutions.

"He revealed how these solutions are applicable in cryptography, quantum information science and in quantum computers."

Dr Enoch has previously worked on mathematical models for harvesting electricity from sound, thunder and ocean bodies.

The seven millennium problems are classified by the Massachusetts-based Clay Mathematical Institute as the "most difficult" to solve.

The Clay Mathematical Institute, who work to help gifted students pursue maths careers, explained how the Riemann Hypothesis operates:

"The prime number theorem determines the average distribution of the primes.

"The Riemann Hypothesis tells us about the deviation from the average.Dr Opeyemi Enoch, a Nigerian national from the Federal University in Oye Ekiti prodsuced a solution to the Riemann Hypothesis, which was first proposed by a German mathematician in 1859.

"Formulated in Riemann's 1859 paper, it asserts that all the 'non-obvious' zeros of the zeta function are complex numbers."

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