Possible Breakthrough in Math’s ABC Conjecture - NYTimes.com


If there's one big idea that I'd like math teachers to take away from this article, it's the reminder that our language of mathematics -- all those symbols and structures -- have been socially constructed. As such, they aren't perfect and sometimes they don't convey ideas and relationships as well as we'd like them to. When pushed to the extreme, as in Dr. Mochizuki's effort to prove the abc conjecture, sometimes new mathematical languages get invented, and they are just as puzzling to experts in the field as the language we take for granted is to students when they encounter it for the first time.