FOM: An interesting poll
Harvey Friedman
friedman at math.ohio-state.edu
Tue Jan 4 15:38:12 EST 2000
I got this interesting and provocative stuff off of two websites,
http://www.cst.cmich.edu/units/mth/ttm2k/ballot.htm and
http://www.cst.cmich.edu/units/mth/ttm2k/topten.htm
As you can see, the voting has already taken place, the ballots have been
counted, and the results have been announced.
I have a lot to say about the question
*from which perspectives are the results of this ballot reasonable?*
but would prefer to hear the comments from less opinionated people.
VOTING ON THE TOP TEN CONTRIBUTIONS TO MATHEMATICS
IN THE 20TH CENTURY
Below is a list of achievements nominated by Michigan mathematicians as
candidates for the top ten contributions to mathematics in the 20th
century. We are now conducting an election in Michigan to determine the top
ten. Please cast your vote as indicated. (One per person)
Vote for EXACTLY five candidates, ranking your choices in order, 1 through
5, by placing a (1) to the left of your first choice on the list, a (2) to
the left of your second choice, and so on through (5). The result should be
a one-to-one function from {1,2,3,4,5} into the list of candidates (No
ties). Scoring will be based on a system of 5 points for a number 1
ranking, 4 points for a number 2 ranking, etc. Final rankings will then be
based on total
points.
You may submit your vote to the MAA Liaison for your Department who will
indicate to you the preferred method for doing that. If that is not
convenient or appropriate, you may send your ballot directly to us at
Central Michigan University. You may use an electronic ballot by replying
on the email ballot, or you may print the ballot and mark on it directly.
If you are sending the ballot to us, you may do so as follows:
Email: Richard.Fleming at cmich.edu
Fax: (517)774-2414
Mail: Top Ten Contest
Department of Mathematics
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
Counting and tallying of the votes will begin on November 15, 1999. Results
will be posted on the Web by November 30.
LIST
_____ Hilbert's Talk at the 1900 Congress
_____ Gödel's Incompleteness Proof
_____ Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem (Wiles)
_____ Development of Linear Programming (Dantzig)
_____ Lebesgue's Dissertation
_____ Classification of Finite Simple Groups
_____ Mathematization of Quantum Mechanics (Von Neumann)
_____ The Development of the Digital Computer
_____ Ramsey's Theorem
_____ Zorn's Lemma
_____ P(NP Conjecture
_____ Einstein's Relativity Theory
_____ The Fast Fourier Transform (Cooley and Tukey)
_____ Applications of Mathematics to Cryptology
_____ Development of Coding Theory
_____ Proof of the Four Color Theorem (Appel and Haken)
_____ Application of Group Theory to Particle Physics
_____ Game Theory (Von Neumann)
_____ Riemann Hypothesis Over Finite Fields (A. Weil and Deligne)
_____ Proof of Mordell's Conjecture (Faltings)
_____ General Riemann - Roch Theorem (Grothendieck)
_____ Classification (up to Dimension) of Finite-Dimensional Division
Algebras Over the Field of Real Numbers (Adams)
_____ The Definition and Development of the Radon Transform
_____ The Development of Fractal Geometry (Mandelbrot)
_____ The Development of Category Theory (Eilenberg and MacLane)
_____ The Probabilistic Method (Erdös)
_____ Proof of Independence of Continuum Hypothesis (Gödel and Cohen)
**********
Top Ten Contributions to Mathematics of the 20th Century
What are the top ten achievements or contributions by mathematicians in the
20th Century? Would it be Wiles proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, Godel's
proof, or maybe Hilbert's address at the 1900 International Congress?
Here is what MAA members in the Michigan Section selected in a recent poll
conducted by members of Central Michigan University's Department of
Mathematics. (The number in parentheses indicates the score obtained by
using the previously announced scoring scheme.)
1. The Development of the Digital Computer (239)
2. Gödel's Incompleteness Proof (223)
3. Einstein's Relativity Theory (195)
4. Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem (Wiles) (181)
5. Hilbert's Talk at the 1900 Congress (118)
6. Classification of Finite Simple Groups (83)
7. Development of Linear Programming (Dantzig) (59)
8. Mathematization of Quantum Mechanics (Von Neumann)
(53)
9. The Development of Fractal Geometry (Mandelbrot) (52)
10. Applications of Mathematics to Cryptology (50)
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