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- Mar 22, 2013

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A member of this forum have tried to start a polymath project here on MHB. I won't deny that I felt similar way for many problems I have, perhaps a few of mine are already getting collaborated efforts in MMF, but the issues must be taken account to before stepping out in something that much big.

The whole point of this project is to get collaborative efforts on a certain problem, so definitely two different kinds of problems occur.

__The statement of the problem__Massive collaborative mathematics is applicable to problems that are superiorly tough and only several tactical attacks may be sufficient to do this. Such problems are not in lack, but many of them are beyond the forum effort (I'll come to this later). What is needed here is some reasonable problem that might be tackled by some forum members. For example, RH must not be a subject to F-Polymath (Forum Polymath, I will abbreviate it like this afterwards).

Also, a subject might be a subject of collaboration if and only if there is an angle of approach available, otherwise there is no point. For example, if one can find a way to attack the Collatz conjecture, and believes there is a possible way to attack it further, then it is worthwhile to be a subject of massive F-collaboration.

__Different peoples, different subject__This almost definitely the most painful part of starting a collaborative project on forums. Not everyone works on a particular field on every mathematics forum -- so the it must be heavily researched whether or not the statement of the problem can be attacked by -most- members of a forum, otherwise the forum collaboration is bound to get unsuccessful.

It is interesting to note that how this point is shown to be a positive side in Gower's blogpost, whereas here it is a negative point.

Above all, I think the main question, quoted from Gower, is

*"Why would anyone agree to share their ideas?"*

Right. Why would anyone agree to share there ideas when they might think that he could use this idea later and might be able to prove the whole problem, without collaborative effort. This is what happens to usual forum problems. People just don't share ideas and think "what's the big deal? What would come out of this stupid collaborative effort?"

Again from Gowers, I'd like to suggest that the ideal outcome would be a solution of the problem with no single individual having to think all that hard. The hard thought would be done by a sort of super-mathematician whose brain is distributed amongst bits of the brains of lots of interlinked people. So try to resist the temptation to go away and think about something and come back with carefully polished thoughts: just give quick reactions to what you read and hope that the conversation will develop in good directions.

Nevertheless, I think we need to discuss a few things before jumping on to a F-Polymath project here or in any forum. I would like to start a active discussion on these and if possible, would try to post a few polymath projects (I think we should also denote the polymath projects as 1, 2, 1a, etc for future reference). If we are successful, who knows? Perhaps we may have a MHB Polymath forum, or a MHB Polymath wiki where massively collaborative mathematics on several topics might be possible?

Balarka

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