After an eight-year struggle, embattled Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki has finally received some validation. His 600-page proof of the abc conjecture, one of the biggest open problems in number theory, has been accepted for publication.
Acceptance of the work in Publications of the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences (RIMS) — a journal of which Mochizuki is chief editor, published by the institute where he works at Kyoto University — is the latest development in a long and acrimonious controversy over the mathematicians’ proof.
Two other RIMS mathematicians, Masaki Kashiwara and Akio Tamagawa, announced in Japanese the publication at a 3 April press conference in Kyoto. The paper “will have a big impact”, said Kashiwara. When asked how Mochizuki reacted to news of the paper’s acceptance, Kashiwara said, “I think he was relieved.”