The Collatz conjecture. A case study in mathematical problem solving

Jean Paul Van Bendegem

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.2005.002

Abstract


In previous papers (see Van Bendegem [1993], [1996], [1998], [2000], [2004], [2005], and jointly with Van Kerkhove [2005]) we have proposed the idea that, if we look at what mathematicians do in their daily work, one will find that conceiving and writing down proofs does not fully capture their activity. In other words, it is of course true that mathematicians spend lots of time proving theorems, but at the same time they also spend lots of time preparing the ground, if you like, to construct a proof.

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References


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