Student solves a 30 year old mathematics problem

Nov 16, 2005

UQ postgraduate student Daniel Horsley has solved a mathematics problem that has defied experts around the world for more than 30 years.

The problem is in a field of mathematics known as combinatorial design theory and its solution has been described by researchers in the area as a major breakthrough.

Daniel worked with his supervisor Dr Darryn Bryant on the problem, known as Lindner`s conjecture on embeddings of partial Steiner triple systems.

Dr Bryant said the problem was first posed in the 1970s by Professor Curt Lindner of Auburn University, USA.

“The problem has confounded leading international combinatorial mathematics experts for many years and for Daniel to have found a solution to such a famous problem whilst studying for his PhD is an amazing achievement.

"Daniel is one of several extremely talented Queensland-educated mathematics students undertaking world-class research at The University of Queensland, where combinatorial mathematics has been an area of strength for many years."

The study of Steiner triple systems dates back to the mid 1800s following the publication of a landmark paper by church rector Reverend Thomas P. Kirkman. They are used in scientific areas such as biological screening and computer error correction.

Daniel Horsley is in the second year of his PhD degree at The University of Queensland. He attended Brisbane Boys' College in Toowong and lives with his family in the Brisbane suburb of Corinda.

Source: University of Queensland

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Seismic study aims to map Earth's interior in 3-D

Mar 16, 2015

When a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck central China's Sichuan province in 2008, seismic waves rippled through the region, toppling apartment houses in the city of Chengdu and swaying office buildings 1,000 ...

Recommended for you

College rankings go under the microscope

6 hours ago

Parents, students and admissions officials have combed through college and university rankings for years. However, education researchers have largely ignored the controversial lists. That's about to change, according to a ...

A call to US educators: Learn from Canada

20 hours ago

As states and the federal government in the U.S. continue to clash on the best ways to improve American education, Canada's Province of Ontario manages successful education reform initiatives that are equal parts cooperation ...

Devices or divisive: Mobile technology in the classroom

Apr 17, 2015

Little is known about how new mobile technologies affect students' development of non-cognitive skills such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, and teamwork. Two Boston College researchers say it's ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.