Skip to comments.Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem
Posted on 05/26/2012 3:07:20 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
A 16-year-old schoolboy has solved a mathematical problem which has stumped mathematicians for centuries, a newspaper report said. The boy put the historical breakthrough down to schoolboy naivety.
Shouryya Ray, who moved to Germany from India with his family at the age of 12, has baffled scientists and mathematicians by solving two fundamental particle dynamics problems posed by Sir Isaac Newton over 350 years ago, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday.
Rays solutions make it possible to now calculate not only the flight path of a ball, but also predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall. Previously it had only been possible to estimate this using a computer, wrote the paper.
Ray first came across the old problem when his secondary school, which specializes in science, set all their year-11 pupils a research project.
On a visit to the Technical University in Dresden pupils received raw data to evaluate a direct numerical simulation which can be used to describe the trajectory of a ball when it is thrown.
When he realised the current method could not get an exact result, Ray decided to have a go at solving it. He puts the whole thing down to schoolboy naivety - he just refused to accept there was no answer to the problem.
I asked myself: why cant it work? he told the paper.
Ray has been fascinated by what he calls the intrinsic beauty of maths since an early age, according to the report. The boy was inspired by his engineer father who began setting him arithmetic problems at the age of six.
He recently won a youth science competition at the state level in Saxony and won second place in the Maths and IT section at the national final.
Originally from Calcutta, Ray couldnt speak a word of German when he came to Dresden four years ago but now he is fluent. Since then, he was moved up two classes in school and is currently sitting his Abitur exams two years early.
But Ray doesnt think hes a genius, and told the paper he has weak points as a mathematician, as well as in sports and social sciences.
Ray, whose recent breakthrough may have earned him a paragraph in the schoolbooks of the future, is currently deciding whether to study maths or physics at university.
Will any Americans have any achievements like this? Maybe if they’re homeschooled.
Since then, he was moved up two classes in school and is currently sitting his Abitur exams two years early.
The Abitur two years early, that’s impressive.
It’s likely below him. but can we send him to DC to teach them basic math.. like how to balance a check book?
I clicked on the local progressive radio station this morning and they were doing a show on how conservatives are purposely dumbing down the public school system to deny children the education of how to use critical thinking.
It’s that kind of attitude, “We didn’t know it couldn’t
be done, so we just did it.”, that used to be the norm
for Americans. Now our kids are all indoctrinated not to
be better than others or someones feelings will be hurt.
If Obama had a son it would neither look nor act like him.
“Ray first came across the old problem when his secondary school, which specializes in science, set all their year-11 pupils a research project.
On a visit to the Technical University in Dresden pupils received raw data to evaluate a direct numerical simulation which can be used to describe the trajectory of a ball when it is thrown.”
Meanwhile in America ..
Maybe he can figure out how to eliminate communists
That reminds me of this story of a group of guys who tried to use a computer built into their shoes to predict how the ball on a roulette table would behave. A fascinating, and true story.
Is this one of the big seven math questions?
He’s too late. Obama solved this but before Al Gore.
Maybe the israelies can use this to help them drop bombs on iran.
If you know the math, the physics is easy.
Maybe if one of our universities offers him a nice scholarship—and then our immigration policies allow him to stay and become a citizen.
That’s the way the ball bounces.....
He’s not in to politics, even though I agree Congress needs his math skills.
“Maybe the israelies can use this to help them drop bombs on iran.”
Especially if the bomb bounces off The Dinnerjacket’s house first and then explodes!
“my idiot ten year old son”
Ouch. Hopefully you don’t say that to him.
I can think of a few major league outfielders who need this kid's coaching.
The article doesn’t go into much detail about the actual problem statement. I’ll assume it’s a bit more involved than using the angle of restitution used for inelastic collisions, and since numerical simulations are little more than hand calculations performed really really fast, I’ll further assume he derived a closed form solution e.g. a nice “plug-in” formula.
“Meanwhile in America ..”
...we are having Trayvon Martin Day, on which nothing will be accomplished but victimhood will be encouraged.
Can anyone find a solution/formula online. No article has a link. I am a math guy and would like to see this and because some people are posting that this isn’t really true and is only some type of partial solution that does not consider enough variables.
Wouldn’t be the first time journalists get amazed when someone can multiple 2, 2 digit numbers in their head. Article 2 weeks ago about some guy who got beat up and then become a math savant could solve “complex” problems like Pythagorean’s theorem.
To all Another SrÄ«nivÄsa RÄmÄnujan SrÄ«nivÄsa RÄmÄnujan FRS was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. From the land that gave us our numbers (integers 1 - 9) and zero!
Does anyone know what problem he actually solved?
As described here, it’s not that tricky; what am I missing?
And he never will untill it’s drummed into him over and over and over.
The mathematic community is fortunate this kid wasn’t
in an American type grievance history class
Occam’s razor says you’re right.
The first sounds like: Ballistic trajectory with Newtonian friction.
The second: Particle-wall collision using Hertz contact model and linear damping.
Ich bin ein Berlitzer
I hope he has discovered a fix for FR’s crashing problems also?
Kenya gave us Zero.
The left sure love projection, don’t they? The National Socialists were masters of accusing their opponents of doing what they themselves were doing or planning to do. The left is the left, whether it’s National Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Social Democracy, Progressivism, or whatever they choose to call it next week. It’s all the same and all from the left; the only difference between any of them is how far down the path to totalitarianism they’ve able to go.
Just by the headline I figured an Indian kid ..... and I was right!!!!
Good for him!!
Just by the headline I figured an Indian kid ..... and I was right!!!!
Good for him!!
Good for him!
And good that his parents got him started in math early.
Zwei Probleme aus der klassischen Mechanik haben mehrere Jahrhunderte mathematischer Bemühung getrotzt. Im ersten Problem handelt es sich darum, die Trajektorie eines schräg geworfenen Körpers im erdnahen Schwerefeld und Newton'schen Strömungswiderstand zu berechnen. Das zugrundeliegende Kraftgesetz wurde bereits von Newton (17. Jhd.) entdeckt. Beim zweiten Problem ist das Ziel die Beschreibung einer Partikel-Wand-Kollision unter Hertzscher Kollisionskraft und linearer Dämpfung. Die Kollisionskraft wurde bereits 1858 von Hertz hergeleitet, eine lineare Dämpfungskraft ist seit Stokes (1850) bekannt.
Diese Arbeit setzt sich also die analytische Lösung dieser bisher nur näherungsweise oder numerisch gelösten Probleme zum Ziele. Zunächst werden die beiden Probleme im verallgemeinerten Kontext vollanalytisch gelöst, diese danach mit numerischen Lösungen verglichen und schließlich ausgehend von den analytischen Lösungen Aussagen über das physikalische Verhalten hergeleitet.
>> my idiot ten year old son struggles with division and hasn’t memorized multiplication tables.
When I was your son’s age, according to the academic standards at the time, I often ranked in the top 2% in the area of mathematics nationwide. And I didn’t memorize jack squat, and yeah, division sucks. So I’m not seeing the corollary to idiocy.
He is not an idiot. Just gifted at something else.
Hey! On Shouryya Ray's first day in Fight Club, The Trayvon would have beaten his @ss.
Twice, for mentioning that pussy "maths" stuff...
hey, bank shots could come in handy!
I watched the National Geography Bee the other night and I'll bet it was 80% Indian.
Pretty cool that they had Texas accents, though.
Is that the guy they talk about in the movie Good Will Hunting? If so, it’s the first thing I thought about when I read this story.
Back here in the states, my daughter got a 95 instead of the 90 she expected in Math and the only thing that can account for this is that the softball coaching math teacher gave her credit for her high batting average. So, this poor mathematician kid who says he’s not good at sports better not move here because our moronic teachers will grade you based on making them look good as a coach, not solving 300 plus year old math and science questions!
Seriously, there’s nothing more he needs to do to get into MIT or Harvard.
The kid says he isn’t good in social sciences, but that’s probably only because in this PC world the crap even the German schools try to feed him makes no rational sense.