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Topic: Re: Four-Color Problem--computer-based proofs
Replies: 2   Last Post: Feb 8, 1999 6:02 PM

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John Conway

Posts: 2,238
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Four-Color Problem--computer-based proofs
Posted: Feb 8, 1999 6:02 PM
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On Tue, 9 Feb 1999, Antreas P. Hatzipolakis wrote:

> Avinoam Mann wrote:

> Also, I recall that a Conway's student tried once to construct the r. 65537-gon
> using a computer.
> I located Conway's posting, so let him tell us the story:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Bradley Brock]:
> > On a related note:
> > I remember that one of my friends in grad school
> > showed John Conway the output from a little
> > Mathematica program that gave the sides of
> > the 257-gon.

> Forgive me for not replying to this before now. It obviously
> refers to John Steinke, who was a graduate student here some time
> ago, and is a bit misleading. What happened was that I proposed
> to him the problem of finding a publishable construction for the
> 65537-gon, and suggested various methods, and he did the 257-gon
> as a baby-example.

Someone asked me in just what sense the original statement was
misleading; the answer being that it gave the impression that Steinke
first showed me the 257-gon output, whereas in fact he programmed this
only after some discussion with me. While I'm clearing up misunderstandings,
I should remark that Steinke wasn't in fact my student - it's just that
we had a common interest in this problem. [Also - not that this matters -
the output was coordinates rather than "sides".]


> Additionally, let me quote the first sentence of the last paragraph
> of Duane W. DeTemple's paper [1, p. 107]:
> .......... remarks omitted ....
> Note: DDeT refers to several regular heptakaidecagon constructions,
> but not to that one (Lebesgue's) I posted earlier.
> Antreas

I was interested to see that the Lebesgue construction is very
similar to Richmond's - so similar in fact that I suspect they have
a common origin. Perhaps we should look up whatever references these
two authors cite? [I'm not suggesting any plagiarism; just that they
might have taken some ideas from the same source, or something like that.]

John Conway

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