PerspectiveMathematics

Quick and Dirty Refereeing?

Science  29 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5637, pp. 1191-1192
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086262

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Summary

Mathematical proofs can run into hundreds of pages, making it extremely difficult to check whether they are correct. In his Perspective, Sudan asks whether methods developed by theoretical computer scientists may help to verify mathematical proofs. The approach enables the probabilistic checking of proofs by reading just a few bits. However, the proofs need to be written in a specific new format. Mathematicians may not find the method useful, because they expect more insights from proofs than just their correctness, but the new methods may find use in the verification of the correct execution of computer programs.

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