**142**

votes

**79**answers

23k views

### Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand

Question: I'm asking for a big list of not especially famous, long open problems that anyone can understand. Community wiki, so one problem per answer, please.
Motivation: I plan to use this list ...

**29**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Are most cubic plane curves over the rationals elliptic?

%This is a new version of the original question modified in the light of the answers and comments.
The word 'most' in the title is ambiguous. The following is one way of making it precise.
...

**39**

votes

**12**answers

2k views

### Can a discrete set of the plane of uniform density intersect all large triangles?

Let S be a discrete subset of the Euclidean plane such that the number of points in a large disc is
approximatively equal to the area of the disc. Does the complement of
S necessarily contain ...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### Are nontrivial integer solutions known for $x^3+y^3+z^3=3$?

The Diophantine equation
$$x^3+y^3+z^3=3$$
has four easy integer solutions: $(1,1,1)$ and the three permutations of $(4,4,-5)$. Elsenhans and Jahnel wrote in 2007 that these were all the solutions ...

**13**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Convex hull in CAT(0)

Let $X$ be complete $\mathop{CAT}(0)$-space and $K\subset X$ be a compact subset.
Is it true that convex hull of $K$ is compact?
Comments:
Convex hull of $K$ = intersection of all closed convex ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

9k views

### Does pi contain 1000 consecutive zeroes (in base 10)?

The motivation for this question comes from the novel Contact by Carl Sagan. Actually, I haven't read the book myself. However, I heard that one of the characters (possibly one of those aliens at ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

760 views

### Minimal graphs with a prescribed number of spanning trees

As its long ago since Erdős died and mathoverflow is the second best alternative to him (for discussing personal problems), I'd like to start a fruitful discussion about the following problem ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

985 views

### Is $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$ correct, where $n$ is an integer?

Is it true that $\varliminf_{n \rightarrow +\infty} |n \sin n| = 0$, where $n$
runs over the integers?
The existence of the limes inferior follows from Dirichlet's approximation theorem,
but the ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

584 views

### Is the Steiner ratio Gilbert–Pollak conjecture still open?

Gilbert-Pollak conjecture on the Steiner ratio: Consider a set $P$ of $n$ points on the euclidean plane. A shortest
network interconnecting $P$ must be a tree, which is called a Steiner minimum ...

**7**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### Not especially famous, long-open problems which higher mathematics beginners can understand

This is a pair to
Not especially famous, long-open problems which anyone can understand
So this time I'm asking for open questions so easy to state for students of subjects such as undergraduate ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

294 views

### If all real conjugacy classes are strongly real, then all real irreps are “strongly real”(symmetric), true ?

Question Is true that if all real conjugacy classes of a finite group are strongly real, then all its real irreducible representations (irreps) are "strongly real"(symmetric) ? And vice verse ?
...

**283**

votes

**3**answers

22k views

### Polynomial bijection from $\mathbb Q\times\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$?

Is there any polynomial $f(x,y)\in{\mathbb Q}[x,y]{}\ $ such that $f:\mathbb{Q}\times\mathbb{Q} \rightarrow\mathbb{Q}$ is a bijection?

**188**

votes

**7**answers

11k views

### Polynomial representing all nonnegative integers

Lagrange proved that every nonnegative integer is a sum of 4 squares.
Gauss proved that every nonnegative integer is a sum of 3 triangular numbers.
Is there a 2-variable polynomial $f(x,y) \in ...

**47**

votes

**21**answers

14k views

### Open problems with monetary rewards

Since the old days, many mathematicians have been used to attaching monetary rewards to problems they admit are difficult. Their reasons could be to draw other mathematicians' attention, to express ...

**52**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Does linearization of categories reflect isomorphism?

Given a category $C$ and a commutative ring $R$, denote by $RC$ the $R$-linearization: this is the category enriched over $R$-modules which has the same objects as $C$, but the morphism module between ...

**37**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### Do there exist chess positions that require exponentially many moves to reach?

By "chess" here I mean chess played on an $n\times n$ board with an unbounded number of (non-king) pieces. Some care is needed if you want to generalize some of the subtler rules of chess to an ...

**27**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### Can we cover the unit square by these rectangles?

The following question was a research exercise (i.e. an open problem) in R. Graham, D.E. Knuth, and O. Patashnik, "Concrete Mathematics", 1988, chapter 1.
It is easy to show that
$$\sum_{1 \leq k } ...

**37**

votes

**11**answers

2k views

### Important open problems that have already been reduced to a finite but infeasible amount of computation

Most open problems, when formalized, naturally involve quantification over infinite sets, thereby obviating the possibility, even in principle, of "just putting it on a computer."
Some questions ...

**15**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### Open problems/questions in representation theory and around ?

What are open problems in representation theory ?
What are the sources (books/papers/sites) discussing this ?
Any kinds of problems/questions are welcome - big/small, vague/concrete.
Some estimation ...

**35**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### improving known bounds for Pierce expansions; cash prize

Here's a problem that I thought of back in 1978 or so, and only a little progress has been made on it since then. I still think about it from time to time, but probably not that many people have ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Is the Invariant Subspace Problem interesting?

There's an amusing comment in Peter Lax's Functional Analysis book. After a brief description of the Invariant Subspace Problem, he says (paraphrasing) "...this question is still open. It is also an ...

**22**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Furstenberg's Conjecture on 2-3-invariant continuous probability measures on the circle

Hillel Furstenberg conjectured that the only $2$-$3$-invariant probability measure on the circle without atoms is the Lebesgue measure. More precisely:
Question: (Furstenberg) Let $\mu$ be a ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### unboundedness of number of integral points on elliptic curves?

If $E/\mathbf{Q}$ is an elliptic curve and we put it into minimal Weierstrass form, we can count how many integral points it has. A theorem of Siegel tells us that this number $n(E)$ is finite, and ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Number of valid topologies on a finite set of n elements

I've heard that the problem of counting topologies is hard, but I couldn't really find anything about it on the rest of the internet. Has this problem been solved? If not, is there some feature that ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

514 views

### A group action of the Heisenberg group with special symmetries

Suppose we look at the Heisenberg group $H_{d}$ as a matrix group of upper triangular matrices over the ring $\mathbb{Z}/d\mathbb{Z}$. You can even choose $d$ to be prime if you want. A natural ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

628 views

### A Question on 1, 2 ,3 Conjecture

1, 2, 3 conjecture is well-known:
If $G$ is a simple graph which is not $K_2$ then one can assign a number among $1, 2, 3$ to every edge such that if we label each vertex with the sum of the numbers ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Question on consecutive integers with similar prime factorizations

Suppose that $n=\prod_{i=1}^{k} p_i^{e_i}$ and $m=\prod_{i=1}^{l} q_i^{f_i}$ are prime factorizations of two positive integers $n$ and $m$, with the primes permuted so that $e_1 \le e_2 \cdots \le ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### How to Tackle the Smooth Poincare Conjecture

The last remaining problem in this whole "everything is a sphere" business, is the Smooth Poincare Conjecture in dimension 4: If $X\simeq_\text{homo.eq.} S^4$ then $X\approx_\text{diffeo} S^4$. ...

**11**

votes

**4**answers

8k views

### The Ramanujan Problems.

I originally thought of asking this question at the Mathematics Stackexchange, but then I decided that I'd have a better chance of a good discussion here.
In the Wikipedia page on Ramanujan, there is ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Surfaces filled densely by a geodesic

Which smooth, closed surfaces $S \subset \mathbb{R}^3$ have no
single geodesic $\gamma$ that fills $S$ densely?
Say a geodesic $\gamma$ "fills $S$ densely" if the closure of the set of points
...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

673 views

### Given a lattice L with n elements, are there finite groups H < G such that L $\cong$ the lattice of subgroups between H and G?

If there is no restriction on $n$, this is a famous open problem. I'm wondering if any recent work has been done for small $n>6$. I believe the question is answered (positively) for $n=6$ by ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

533 views

### Randomly switching street lights, in a square city

This is a combinatorics-probability question, best stated however in "recreational" terms. Imagine a $N\times N$ city, meaning that we have $N$ horizontal streets, and $N$ vertical streets. At each ...

**26**

votes

**0**answers

338 views

### Which region in the plane with a given area has the most domino tilings?

I just finished teaching a class in combinatorics in which I included a fairly easy upper bound on the number of domino tilings of a region in the plane as a function of its area. So this led to ...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

338 views

### Decidability of equality of elementary expressions

In the following definition the term expression is to be understood as a finite tree built from formal symbols without any predefined meaning assigned to them.
Define the set $\mathcal{E}$ of ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

230 views

### Generating random finite groups

I would like a method to efficiently generate a random finite group of a given order $n$.
If there are $g(n)$ non-isomorphic groups of order $n$,
ideally each group would occur with probability ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

234 views

### Are there only finitely many maximal subfactors of a fixed finite index ?

A subfactor $N \subset M $ is maximal if it admits no non-trivial intermediate subfactors $N \subset P \subset M $.
Question: are there only finitely many maximal subfactors of a fixed finite ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

610 views

### Transcendentality of all irrationals in the Cantor set

Hi, I am a student researcher trying to prove that all irrationals within the Cantor set are transcendental. This is grounded, intuitively, in Cantor set members' being non-normal; since algebraic ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

830 views

### When is a compact topological 4-manifold a CW complex?

Freedman's $E_8$-manifold is nontriangulable, as proved on page (xvi) of the Akbulut-McCarthy 1990 Princeton Mathematical Notes "Casson's invariant for oriented homology 3-spheres".
Kirby showed that ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

278 views

### Is there a finite-index finite-depth II$_1$ subfactor which is more than $7$-super-transitive?

Background: See Noah and Emily's posts on subfactors and planar algebras on the Secret Blogging Seminar.
There are plenty of examples of $3$-super-transitive (3-ST) subfactors; Haagerup, $S_4 < ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

471 views

### Periodic Automorphism Towers

In Scott's classic textbook on Group Theory, he asks:
Suppose that $G$ is a finite group. Is the sequence of isomorphism types
of the groups $Aut^{(n)}(G)$ for $n \in \mathbb{N}$ eventually periodic?
...

**6**

votes

**6**answers

641 views

### practical algorithms for np complete problems

Inspired by:
Conjecture on NP-completeness of tesselation of Wang Tile up to finite size
And the practicality of this topic (solving tessellation on a lattice):
coloring in lattice
Computational ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

563 views

### Paul Erdős: Determine or estimate the number of maximal triangle-free graphs on n vertices

Among the collections of the open problems of Paul Erdős on the website of
Professor Fan Chung, there is one called "number of triangle-free graphs".
...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

435 views

### Convex bodies with constant maximal section function in odd dimensions

In 1970 or so, Klee asked if a convex body in $\mathbb R^n$ ($n\ge 3$) whose maximal sections by hyperplanes in all directions have the same volume must be a ball. The counterexample in $\mathbb R^4$ ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

448 views

### Integer-distance sets

Let $S$ be a set of points in $\mathbb{R}^d$; I am especially interested in $d=2$.
Say that $S$ is an integer-distance set if every pair of points in $S$ is separated
by an integer Euclidean distance.
...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

219 views

### Why would dim primitive irrep divide size of some conjugacy class ?

From Isaacs et.al. 2005
Conjecture C. Let χ be a primitive
irreducible character of an arbitrary
ﬁnite group G. Then χ(1) divides |
clG(g)| for some element g ∈ G.
Here, of course, we ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Re: Mordell's Equation $y^2 = x^3 + k$ and Perfect Numbers

I have already tried a somewhat exhaustive search of the literature, but couldn't find anything close to the problem that I am working on.
My question is: When does Mordell's Equation
$$y^2 = x^3 ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

566 views

### Artin Schreier Theorem for Rings

This has been in my mind for quite some time. Looking at Artin Schreier Theorem for fields:
If L is a field and K its algebraic closure and if 1< [K:L] < infinity then L=K[i] and L is a real ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

318 views

### Kaplansky's 6th conjecture: dim(Irrep) | dim(algebra) - for semi-simple Hopf algebras

Let $H$ be a semisimple Hopf algebra. One of the Kaplansky's conjectures states that the dimension of any irreducible $H$-module divides the dimension of $H$.
In which cases the conjecture is known ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

225 views

### Is there a non-zero ghost map between finite suspension spectra?

A morphism $f\colon X\to Y$ of spectra such that for every integer $n$ the induced map $\pi_n(f)\colon\pi_n(X)\to\pi_n(Y)$ on stable homotopy groups is zero is called a ghost map.
Not every ghost map ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

413 views

### Small quadrilaterals containing a given convex region

It is easy to prove that
(*) Every convex planar set of area 1 is contained in a quadrilateral of area 2.
It is also easy to see that statement (*) remains true if the constant 2 is replaced with a ...