The New York Times takes on the “P versus NP problem”; learn more from The Princeton Companion to Mathematics

Timothy Gowers, editor of The Princeton Companion to Mathematics, is mentioned in today’s New York Times article “Step 1: Post Elusive Proof. Step 2: Watch Fireworks”. In an account of a recent attempt to solve what is known as the “P versus NP problem”—one of the most important unsolved problems in theoretical computer science and all of mathematics –reporter John Markoff explores how online collaboration, including analysis and commentary on blogs and wikis, is changing the way science is practiced. Gowers created the Polymath Project in 2009 to encourage collaborative mathematical research projects (see http://polymathprojects.org/about/ for more details).

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics explains the P versus NP problem in articles IV.20 (Computational Complexity, this is an excerpt from the larger article) and V.24 (The P versus NP Problem).