In mid-March, the mathematicians Joshua Greene and Andrew Lobb found themselves in the same situation: locked down and struggling to adjust while the Covid-19 pandemic grew outside their doors. They decided to cope by throwing themselves into their research.
“I think the pandemic was really kind of galvanizing,” says Greene, a professor at Boston College. “We each decided it would be best to lean into some collaborations to sustain us.”
One of the problems the two friends looked at was a version of a century-old unsolved question in geometry.
“The problem is so easy to state and so easy to understand, but it’s really hard,” says Elizabeth Denne of Washington