$1 Million Math Problem: Banker D. Andrew Beal Offers Award To Crack Conjecture Unsolved For 30 Years

By Staff Reporter on June 5, 2013 1:08 PM EDT

$1 million math problem
A $1 million math problem is unsolved for 30 years. (Photo: AMS)

Can you solve the $1 million math problem? Self-taught mathematician and Texas banker D. Andrew Beal is offering a cool $1 million to any person that can successfully solve and fulfill, or present a counterexample to, a math problem that has stumped the most brilliant professors since the 1980s.

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The $1 million math problem was published by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) of Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday. According to AMS spokesperson Michael Breen, the solution of the $1 million math problem is more difficult than the related Fermat's Last Theorem, a problem without a published solution for hundreds of years.

The $1 million math problem is a number theory problem that is known as the Beal Conjecture, named after D. Andrew Beal. In 1997, D. Andrew Beal first announced the Beal Prize of $5,000 for any brilliant mind that can present an answer. After years without a solution, the prize money steadily climbed.

According to D. Andrew Beal, the $1 million Beal Prize and the brain-picking Beal Conjecture is his way of inspiring young people to pursue math and science.

The $1 million prize is held in trust by the AMS until the Beal's Conjecture is finally solved. The Beal Prize is supervised by the Beal Prize Committee (BPC), which is appointed by the AMS president.

The following is the Beal's Conjecture:

If Ax + By = Cz, where A, B, C, x, y and z are positive integers and x, y and z are all greater than 2, then A, B and C must have a common prime factor.

The rules require the solution to the Beal's conjecture to be published in a respected and refereed mathematics publication that maintains high editorial standards and ethics. A proposed solution to the Beal Prize Problem may not be submitted directly to the American Mathematical Society, to the Beal Prize Committee, or to D. Andrew Beal.

Finally, the solution must be widely accepted by the mathematics community following a two-year period after it is published.

No doubt, the Beal's Conjecture problem is potentially the most difficult $1 million contest ever. Do you think you possess the successful solution or counterexample to the $1 million math problem? Visit the official American Mathematical Society website to learn more.

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