Win A Million Bucks by Doing Math!

320x486Yep, seriously!

Texas zillionaire* Andrew Beal is a self-taught math enthusiast.  He has offered a one-million dollar prize to anyone who can prove his “Beal Conjecture”.  Mathematicians have been at it since the 1980s — but to this point, nobody has had any luck.

Surely a prize that large on a problem that old must be difficult to understand, right?!  Well…not exactly.  It’s pretty straightforward algebra.  Proving the conjecture is not straightforward, but understanding it is.

See the problem here:

BADGING:  Read the article linked above.  Then read the rules/procedures for submitting a solution:  Why do you think the American Mathematical Society will not accept manuscripts directly, but instead require that the solution be published in a journal?  Answer in a complete sentence or two.

To complete your badge, answer the following Questions:

  1.  One example solution of the Beal Conjecture is 34^5 + 51^4 = 85^4.  What common prime factor do all of the bases (A, B, and C, in the Beal Conjecture) share?

2)  How would you complete this statement using the Beal Conjecture:  3^3 + 6^3 = __________  (Don’t give the answer as a counting number, express it in its “Beal Conjecture Form”

3)  19^4 + 38^3 leads to a Beal Conjecture solution.  Without actually evaluating either of those exponential terms, tell me what you must know about the number C in The Beal Conjecture:  19^4 + 38^3 = C^z

*there are no such things as zillionaires.  Mr. Beal has a net worth of 11 billion US Dollars.


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