Riemann Hypothesis: Nigerian professor says 'I have solved it'

Opeyemi Enoch presenting his solution at the International Conference on Mathematics and Computer Science 2015, Vienna.

Story highlights

  • Riemann Hypothesis solution sought after 156-year wait
  • Solution must be published and accepted by the mathematics community before $1m prize can be claimed

(CNN)Nigerian professor Opeyemi Enoch Wednesday insisted he has found a solution to the complex Riemann Hypothesis.

Following several media reports casting doubt on his claim, Enoch said: "I have a proof and the mathematics community is behind me."
    The senior lecturer in mathematics at the Federal University in Oye Ekiti, Nigeria, said the project behind solving the 156-year-old math puzzle had taken "seven good years" and that comments from detractors had not dampened his sense of achievement.
    "People have the privilege and the right to say whatever they want to say," he said, adding "I have not really been giving attention to some of the comments."
    Enoch said he first delivered his findings on November 11 at the International Conference on Mathematics and Computer Science held in Vienna, in an oral presentation called "A Matrix That Generates the Point Spectral of the Riemann Zeta Function."
    Nina Ringo, a member of the conference committee, said in an email statement: "I consider his results to be very important and confirm his discovery."
    Solving the complex Riemann Hypothesis, which involves the distribution of prime numbers, comes with a $1million prize awarded by the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI).
    Enoch's says his findings are due for publication by a journal attached to the Vienna conference on December 1. He said he would pass on his paper to the CMI then.
    However , it could be years before the CMI accept his solution and award him the prize.
    Naomi Kraker, from the CMI told CNN: "To our mind, [the Riemann's Hypothesis] remains unsolved."
    The Massachusetts-based Institute say there are a number of prerequisites before Enoch -- or anyone -- can claim the prize.
    Any solution would need to be published in a journal "of worldwide repute" and accepted for two years within the mathematics community before it would be considered, Kraker said.
    Enoch says he has received cold calls following reports he has landed the $1million prize, and is concerned about the threat of kidnapping.
    "Reports saying I have won $1million have not been helpful for my security or that of my people," he said. "I've warned my parents and loved ones to stay away from me."
    The Riemann Hypothesis is one of the CMI's seven Millennium Problems, all of which come with a $1 million prize.
    Announced in 2000, as of yet only one has been officially solved, the Poincare Conjecture by Grigoriy Perelman, to whom the prize was offered in 2010. However Perelman refused to accept the award -- as he had the Fields Prize in 2006.