Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Can mathematical proofs (or the idea of using them) be patented?


This is a good one from my days (1966-1968) as a graduate student earning an MA in Mathematics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. That is, a patent on using mathematical proofs, as a “stupid patent of the month”, by Joe Mullin and Daniel Nazer.  The context is trying to prove mathematically (maybe by induction) that a particular piece of software is error-free.

You wonder if a troll will try to patent the quaternion (the basis of the behavior of sub-atomic particles and nuclear forces), or octonion.  I even tweeted that.


When I went to grad school, the curriculum tended to be divided between “algebra” and “analysis”, the latter of which subsumed topology, but they all intermix – with physics and a theory of everything.  
  
In the meantime, just remember your “given” and “to prove” problems in high school plane geometry.  Do you remember how to prove the Pythagorean Theorem?

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