​Beal Conjecture Number Still Puzzles Mathematicians​​

A $1 million prize is up for grabs to anyone who can resolve the Beal Conjecture number theory problem, which has been puzzling mathematicians since the 1980s.

Beal Conjecture

The Beal Prize was first offered in 1997 for $5,000. Over the years, the amount has grown. The Providence, Rhode Island-based American Mathematical Society (AMS) on Tuesday said $1 million will be awarded for the publication.

AMS spokesman Michael Breen says a solution is more difficult than the one for a related problem - Fermat’s Last Theorem - which didn’t have a published solution for hundreds of years.

Dallas banker D. Andrew Beal is a self-taught mathematician and founder of the Beal Prize. He says he wants to inspire young people to pursue math and science. An AMS-appointed committee will award this prize for either a proof of, or a counterexample to, the Beal Conjecture, published in a refereed and respected mathematics publication.

The prize money is being held in trust by the AMS until it is awarded.Income from the prize fund is used to support the annual Erdos’ Memorial Lecture and other activities of the Society.

The administration of the Beal Prize is overseen by a Beal Prize Committee (BPC) to be appointed by the President of the AMS.The formal charge of the BPC and the “Procedures for Determination of an Award of the Beal Prize” are subject to the review and approval by the Council of the AMS.

The Beal Prize Fund is held as a restricted asset of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), with US$1,000,000 to be awarded if, in the judgment of the BPC, the conjecture is proved or a counterexample is presented.

A proposed solution of the Beal Prize Problem may not be submitted directly to the AMS, or to the Beal Prize Committee, or to Beal himself.

Unpublished manuscripts will not be considered.