News & media

No new mathematical solution by Swedish Teen

1 June 2009

Swedish and international media have recently reported that a 16-year old Swede has presented the solution to the Bernoulli numbers. This is not correct. The solution was previously known to the mathematical community.

The young student, from the Swedish province of Dalarna, turned to Uppsala University with his formula, claiming that it was the solution to the complex Bernoulli numbers. Senior Lecturer Lars-Åke Lindahl verified the formula, but added that although correct, it was well known and readily available in several databases. Dr Lindahl found the student to be very talented in the field of mathematics and provided him with reading material. The student, however, has not been admitted to Uppsala University, as claimed by some news outlets.

The Bernoulli numbers were introduced by Jakob Bernoulli in the book Ars Conjectandi, published posthumously in 1713.