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Texas Banker Puts Up $1 Million For Tricky Math Solution

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Dallas banker is upping the ante to $1 million for whoever solves a tricky problem that’s been dogging mathematicians since the 1980s.

The Providence, R.I.-based American Mathematical Society on Tuesday said $1 million will be awarded for the publication of a solution to the Beal Conjecture number theory problem.

The society describes the problem on their website.

The Beal Conjecture states that the only solutions to the equation Ax + By = Cz, when A, B, C, are positive integers, and x, y, and z are positive integers greater than 2, are those in which A, B, and C have a common factor. By way of example, 33 + 63 = 35, but the numbers that are the bases have a common factor of 3, so the equation does not disprove the theorem; it is not a counterexample.

Dallas banker D. Andrew Beal first offered the Beal Prize in 1997 for $5,000. Over the years, the amount has grown.

American Mathematical Society 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.

Beal is a self-taught mathematician and says he wants to inspire young people to pursue math and science.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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