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I The creation of open problems in Mathematics

  1. Apr 7, 2017 #1
    I have a question about mathematics at the research level. How difficult is it to formulate new open problems in mathematics? For example, can a master's student create such problems? And a doctoral student? Or are only experienced mathematicians able to do this? Does this depend on the research area? Could someone give me a detailed answer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2017 #2


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    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Finding new or unsolved problems is easy, and there is no shortage of problems. Finding new problems that you can solve is more difficult. Finding interesting problems that are difficult enough to lead to a publication, but still within your abilities, can be challenging on its own.
  4. Apr 7, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    What do you think? That there are periodical meetings where professors sit together and create unsolved problems? These problems arise naturally by doing research as one will always find new unanswered questions. The level of education can only help to know whether they are really unsolved or who is working in the area and most important: where to look for. Research is to a great extend done in libraries. And usually it's not about ground breaking new insights, but often small improvements on known stuff: another boundary for remainder terms, better estimations on complexity, another class of nilpotent groups and things like that. Unless you don't work in the field, you will rarely meet the Goldbach conjecture, and certainly not "invent" one.
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