What is the world’s hardest problem to solve? According to New Scientist, who hired us to create their cover illustration, the world’s hardest problem is “P=NP”. Our concept was to illustrate a fantasy ancient scene where this almighty equation was first created.
The World’s Hardest Problem
According to Wikipedia, the P versus NP problem is a major unsolved problem in computer science. Informally, it asks whether every problem whose solution can be quickly verified by a computer can also be quickly solved by a computer. It was introduced in 1971 by Stephen Cook in his seminal paper “The complexity of theorem proving procedures” and is considered by many to be the most important open problem in the field. It is one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems selected by the Clay Mathematics Institute to carry a US$1,000,000 prize for the first correct solution.