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New Approach Chips Away at Minimalist Conjecture

Mathematicians at the Institute for Advanced Study have made progress on the minimalist conjecture, a proposition about the rank of elliptic curves.

If the minimalist conjecture is true, the average rank of all elliptic curves should be ½, but until Manjul Bhargava and Arul Shankar set to work on the problem, no one had yet proven that the average was even finite. Using descent algorithms of the sort first deployed by Pierre de Fermat in the 17th century, Bhargava and Shankar have put an upper bound of 0.88 on the average rank.

Read the Simons Foundation story.

Start Date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013

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