[FOM] Origin of the Buzz

Harvey Friedman friedman at math.ohio-state.edu
Sun Aug 15 13:36:05 EDT 2010

> And, unless I am mistaken, Deolalikar is not the one who released the
> purported proof into the wild. That seems worth remembering.
> Richard Heck

This is not the case. Here is the email that Deolalikar sent around on  
August 6 that started everything, without the attachments. It is  
followed below by an email from Steve Cook, one of the receipients,  
and the originator of the problem, not Galois as Martin Davis implies,  
which apparently was sent rather widely. I received it a bit down the  
food chain - not directly from Steve.

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 21:28:39 +0000
From: "Deolalikar, Vinay" <vinay.deolalikar at hp.com>
To: "Tarjan, Robert" <Robert.Tarjan at hp.com>,
   "manindra at iitk.ac.in" <manindra at iitk.ac.in>,
   "arora at cs.princeton.edu" <arora at cs.princeton.edu>,
   "avi at ias.edu" <avi at ias.edu>,
   "sacook at cs.toronto.edu" <sacook at cs.toronto.edu>,
   "s.donaldson at imperial.ac.uk" <s.donaldson at imperial.ac.uk>,
   "lovasz at cs.elte.hu" <lovasz at cs.elte.hu>,
   "fagin at almaden.ibm.com" <fagin at almaden.ibm.com>,
   "fortnow at eecs.northwestern.edu" <fortnow at eecs.northwestern.edu>,
   "dsj at research.att.com" <dsj at research.att.com>,
   "karp at cs.berkeley.edu" <karp at cs.berkeley.edu>,
   "immerman at cs.umass.edu" <immerman at cs.umass.edu>,
   "manin at mpim-bonn.mpg.de" <manin at mpim-bonn.mpg.de>,
   "margulis at math.yale.edu" <margulis at math.yale.edu>,
   "marc.mezard at lptms.u-psud.fr" <marc.mezard at lptms.u-psud.fr>,
   "montanari at stanford.edu" <montanari at stanford.edu>,
   "David_Mumford at brown.edu" <David_Mumford at brown.edu>,
   "ynm at math.ucla.edu" <ynm at math.ucla.edu>,
   "sipser at math.mit.edu" <sipser at math.mit.edu>,
   "solovay at gmail.com" <solovay at gmail.com>,
   "vazirani at cs.berkeley.edu" <vazirani at cs.berkeley.edu>,
   "don.zagier at mpim-bonn.mpg.de" <don.zagier at mpim-bonn.mpg.de>
Subject: Proof announcement: P is not equal to NP

Dear Fellow Researchers,

I am pleased to announce a proof that P is not equal to NP, which is
attached in 10pt and 12pt fonts.

The proof required the piecing together of principles from multiple  
within mathematics.  The major effort in constructing this proof was
uncovering a chain of conceptual links between various fields and  
viewing them through
a common lens.  Second to this were the technical hurdles faced
at each stage in the proof.

This work builds upon fundamental contributions many esteemed  
have made to their fields. In the presentation of this paper, it was my
intention to provide the reader with an understanding of the global
framework for this proof.  Technical and computational details within  
chapters were
minimized as much as possible.

This work was pursued independently of my duties as a HP Labs  
and without the knowledge of others. I made several unsuccessful  
attempts these
past two years trying other combinations of ideas before I began this  

Comments and suggestions for improvements to the paper are highly  

Vinay Deolalikar

Principal Research Scientist
HP Labs

From: Stephen Cook <sacook at cs.toronto.edu>
Date: 8 August 2010 00:20
Subject: Proof announcement: P is not equal to NP (fwd)
To: theorygroup at cs.toronto.edu

This appears to be a relatively serious claim to have solved P vs NP.


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