Log24

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mathematics and Narrative, continued…

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Indiana Jones and the Magical Oracle

Mathematician Ken Ono in the December 2010 American Mathematical Society Notices

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101113-Ono.gif

The "dying genius" here is Ramanujan, not Galois. The story now continues at the AMS website—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110127-AMS-Ono-500w.jpg

      (Excerpt from Jan. 27 screenshot;
      the partitions story has been the top
      news item at the site all week.)

From a Jan. 20, 2011, Emory University press release —
"Finite formula found for partition numbers" —

"We found a function, that we call P, that is like a magical oracle," Ono says. "I can take any number, plug it into P, and instantly calculate the partitions of that number. P does not return gruesome numbers with infinitely many decimal places. It's the finite, algebraic formula that we have all been looking for."

For an introduction to the magical oracle, see a preprint, "Bruinier-Ono," at the American Institute of Mathematics website.

Ono also discussed the oracle in a video (see minute 25) recorded Jan. 21 and placed online today.

See as well "Exact formulas for the partition function?" at mathoverflow.net.

A Nov. 29, 2010, remark by Thomas Bloom on that page leads to a 2006 preprint by Ono and Kathrin Bringmann, "An Arithmetic Formula for the Partition Function*," that seems not unrelated to Ono's new "magical oracle" formula—

Click to enlarge

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110127-Preprints500w.jpg

The Bruinier-Ono paper does not mention the earlier Bringmann-Ono work.

(Both the 2011 Bruinier-Ono paper and the 2006 Bringmann-Ono paper mention their debt to a 2002 work by Zagier—  Don Zagier, "Traces of singular moduli," in Motives, Polylogarithms and Hodge theory, Part II  (Irvine, CA, 1998), International Press Lecture Series 3 (International Press, Somerville, MA, 2002),   pages 211-244.)

Some background for those who prefer mathematics to narrative
The Web of Modularity: Arithmetic of the Coefficients of Modular Forms and q-Series ,
by Ken Ono, American Mathematical Society CBMS Series, 2004.

* Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 135 (2007), 3507-3514.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress