With all the problems in the world, there should be at least a few where you can get paid to find solutions. Lo and behold, there are some problems that you can totally get armloads of money for, sometimes for simply sitting in a chair and thinking about the answer. Problems like…
10. The Cray Mathematical Institute’s Millennium Problems
In the year 2000, the Cray Mathematical Institute brought out a list of math’s seven most infamous problems, with the person who solves each problem getting a million dollars. Since 2000, only one has been solved. Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician who lived in his mom’s basement, solved Poincare’s Conjecture, an unsolved problem since 1904. However, he spent so many years on the problem, he pretty much dropped out of society, refusing a Fields Medal (math’s highest honor,) and never claimed his million bucks, citing his disillusionment with mathematics. So as long as you don’t mind losing your mind while doing so, there are still six problems out there for you to solve.
One such problem is solving P= NP, a conundrum first proposed in 1971. To put it in simple terms, P is a group of problems that equal, say, the size of a circle. NP is the bastard cigar shaped oval that tries to get one of its ends to match perfectly over the said circle, with positive outcomes of those same problems, but that have to be verified in a math process called Polynomial Time, which is pretty much how they can stay the same through moving time.
Got all that? Basically it’s solving the exact same problem twice, except the numbers keep changing. It is currently the largest open problem in theoretical computer science. There have been numerous people who have tried their hand at this, and all have failed. The closest we’ve come is a promising claim in 2010 that solved part of it, only to be shot to Hell by mathematicians looking it over.