Opinion 121: A Case Study In Early 21st-Century Mathematical Narrow-Mindedness: How a "Non-Rigorous", but ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN Disproof of a 45-Year Old Conjecture Made by One of the Greatest Number Theorists of the 20th Century Got Rejected By Three Journals

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: Feb. 24, 2012

Yesterday I gave a talk (watch the video!: Part 1   Part 2) with the above title at the Rutgers Experimental Mathematics Seminar. There I told the sad (but funny!) story of how the beautiful refutation by Drew Sills and myself, of a long-standing conjecture by Hans Rademacher, got rejected by three journals.

First Drew Sills and I (naively!) submitted it to George Andrews, Rademacher's "Benjamin" (see the bottom of this page) for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, who rejected it because it was "only experimental". Then we submitted it to Mathematics of Computation (see its editorial board), who rejected it because, while "interesting", it "does not meet the `high' standards of the journal, since it is 'only computational'". Finally we submitted it to the journal Experimental Mathematics (see its editorial board (in Feb. 2012)), that when it was founded, was a breath of fresh air, but in recent times, under the current editor-in-chief, has deteriorated into "J. of Algorithmic Algebraic Geometry", who once again rejected our masterpiece, (see my Email to Yuri Tschinkel that never got a response) ostensibly because it "does not ring with enduring significance" (whatever that means), but most probably because it was "only experimental".

At the very end of Part 2 of my talk, I suggested that the three culprits, George Andrews, Chi-Wang Shu (and possibly Igor E. Shparlinski) and Yuri Tschinkel, admit their misguided and grossly erroneous editorial decisions, and suggested token donations to worthy causes. At the behest of my beloved wife Jane, I am hereby waiving the "fines", and state that I will be glad to accept a "public admittance of editorial error", that I would link to (once they arrive). The requested donations to worthy causes are hereby made optional.

Opinions of Doron Zeilberger