University of Maryland, College Park computer scientist William Gasarch has re-run his poll on the biggest problem in computer science.
In 2002, Gasarch polled 100 researchers on the P versus NP problem and found that 61 percent did not believe P = NP, 9 percent believed the opposite, and the rest said they did not know or that the problem was impossible to solve. Gasarch recently polled more than 150 researchers and found that 81 percent do not believe P = NP. He says the shift is the result of the failure of computer scientists over the past 10 years to find a fast algorithm that would enable them to solve all NP problems.
The latest poll also found that 53 percent of researchers believe an answer to the problem will emerge before 2100, which is down from 62 percent in the earlier poll. The Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass., is offering $1 million to anyone who can solve the P versus NP problem.
ACM's Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory newsletter will publish the full poll results later this year.
From New Scientist
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