Number Theory

"In a recent paperManjul Bhargava of Princeton University has settled an 85-year-old conjecture about one of math’s most ancient obsessions: the solutions to polynomial equations such as x2 – 3x + 2 = 0. 'It’s a great problem, famous old question,' said Andrew Granville, a professor at the University of Montreal. '[Bhargava] had an interesting, somewhat different approach, which was very creative.'"

"Lillian Pierce vividly remembers a moment when she was 4 years old, waiting in her family’s station wagon for her older brother and sister to get out of school, magnolia trees forming pink and white arches overhead. Her mother was sitting in the driver’s seat, writing sequences of numbers in blue ink, balancing her checkbook. Pierce was mesmerized."