Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Great way to use a math blog

Timothy Gowers has suggested a line of research about the Density version of the Hales-Jewitt Theorem.. What is remarkable about what he proposes is that he wants a massive collaborative effort on it, as suggested in this blog entry of his. He has some other entries before that one ABOUT the notion of mass collaboration. Terry Tao has a companion post setting up a reading seminar on the density HJ theorem.
  1. Both the collaboration and the reading seminar are great ways to use the Internet and their blogs! I often learn factoids or references from blogs. By contrast this gives people a chance to learn something deeper.
  2. For LEARNING this is clearly a good idea that should work (if not for me then for others).
  3. For PRODUCING new ideas I'll be curious how it goes. How productive does a research group get if it gets too big? At one point is there just too much noise? Then again, how many people are interested in this problem and this form of collaboration (I honestly do not know). Is not meeting face-to-face a problem?
  4. Is this material important for TCS? Luca has a blog entry on the unreasonable effectivness of addive combinatorics in computer science, so that would be a YES.
  5. Clearly I wish them well.

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