Education: The Prodigies

HARVARD SENIOR DOES IMPOSSIBLE, headlined the Boston Globe last week.

The senior in question was Richard Friedberg of Manhattan, a modest 20-year-old who plays the piano, sings in the glee club, majors in mathematics. Last week not only the Globe but mathematicians across the U.S. were buzzing about what has turned out to be a major mathematical achievement.

Friedberg's feat was to solve a problem, first posed by the late Emil Post of New York's City College in 1944, that has been baffling mathematicians ever since. The problem: Does each non-recursive, recursively enumerable set...

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