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A Nigerian Mathematican Claims To Have Cracked 156-Year-Old Maths Problem

A serious problem that has been confusing mathematicians for almost 150 years may have been cracked by a Nigerian university professor. Dr Opeyemi Enoch, from the Federal University in the city of Oye Ekiti, is believed to have cracked the Riemann Hypothesis - which has left mathematicians scratching their heads since it was first offered by German Bernhard Riemann back in 1800s. He shared his proof at the International Conference on Mathematics and Computer Science and, if his work turns out to be true, he might win $1m (£657,000) for his work. The Riemann Hypothesis is recognized one of the seven millennium puzzles in mathematics. In 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute in the US issued a prize fund for any person who cracked seven mathematical puzzles that have been confused over for several years.

If Dr Enoch’s Proof is accepted, he will be the very first person to crack a problem since the prize was founded. The problem revolves around the dispersal of prime numbers and is debatably the most well-known problem in mathematics since the Fermat’s Last Theorem was resolved by Dr Andrew Wiles in 1994. Dr Enoch told the BBC World Service that he had been driven to solve the problem by his very own students.

He told BBC: “The motivation was because my students trusted that the solution could come from me - not because the financial reward and that was why I started trying to solve the problem in the first place.”

In a report, the university said: “Dr Enoch first investigated and then established the claims of Riemann. He went on to consider and to correct the misconceptions that were communicated by mathematicians in the past generations, thus paving way for his solutions and proofs to be established.”

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