Mathematical immortality? Give a theorem your name

Jacob Aron 

During my time as an eager undergraduate mathematician, I’d often wonder what it would feel like to prove a truly new result and have my name immortalised in the mathematical history books. I thought that dream had died when I gave up maths to become a science writer, but Aron’s theorem is now a reality – and I’ve got the certificate to prove it.

While most mathematical theorems result from weeks of hard work and possibly a few broken pencils, mine comes courtesy of TheoryMine, a company selling personalised theorems as novelty gifts for £15 a pop.

Its automated theorem-proving software can churn out a theoretically infinite number of theorems for customers wishing to join the ranks of Pythagoras and Fermat. "We generate new theorems and let people name them after themselves, a friend, a loved one, or whoever they want to name it after," explains Flaminia Cavallo, managing director of TheoryMine, based in Edinburgh, UK.

You may think this is an elaborate scam, or that you’ll just end up with an obscure equation copied from some long-forgotten textbook, but TheoryMine claims to have far more validity than superficially similar companies selling star names.

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