The heart of tech

This article was published on April 2, 2013


Brilliant new Twitter account proves mathematical theorems in 140 characters or less

Brilliant new Twitter account proves mathematical theorems in 140 characters or less
Alex Wilhelm
Story by

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

A new Twitter account is out to prove various bit of math in the space of a single tweet.

Assuming that you have worked your way through a proof or two in your life – and who hasn’t – you will remember their trickiness, and length. However, given the terse character limit of Twitter, the folks behind @TinyProof are pressed for space.

The result of that length constriction is the following, for example:

2013-04-01_15h18_38

I’m going to hose this up, so math folks correct me in the comments, but I think that this says something along the following lines: The function ‘f’ is continuous for value between a and b;  for the value a, f(a) – read as ‘f of a’ – is less than value y, which is less than value derived from f(b); there is a value x inside the set bounded by a and b such that f(x) is less than y. Something something something there exists a value c such that f(c)= y.

In other words, provided that y is between the values of f(a) and f(b), and the function is continuous, there will exists a value c between a and b that will solve for y.

I proved this in college. Professor Hadari, I am so sorry.

A similar Twitter account, @ProofInATweet exists, but doesn’t appear to be very active. More of this sort of thing, please.

Top Image Credit: Sharat Ganapati Via the Math subreddit