Four Problems That Changed My Life

Matthew Taylor


At the risk of sounding pompous, I've always been fascinated by the chains of tiny events and choices that link each of our lives together. Often, moments in our past that we regret or decisions that we're not sure were right lead to other opportunities or achievements we'd never have otherwise experienced. Many of your happiest moments can ultimately be traced back years upon years to the smallest of impetuses.
For my last pure postgrad seminar before I step into the real, non-academic world in April - and in true Buzzfeed style - I'm going to take you on a tour of four rather disparate problems: the Riemann hypothesis, the integer partition problem, the Cerny conjecture, and tropical matrix identities. I'll demonstrate how - without meeting each of these problems at the time I did - I could have led a very different life.
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