Posted Feb. 4, 2007.
>Report on "Proof of a conjecture of Amitai Regev...", Ekhad and Zeilberger: >I should first confess that I have never been much of a fan of Ekhad's >work; his (?) arguments, although invariably technically accurate, >exhibit no insight (the very epitome of the difference between a proof >and an explanation). Ekhad's only saving grace is that he (?) has >Zeilberger around to ask interesting questions... Thanks for the compliments, but many of Ekhad's proofs are at least as insightful as yours. >That said, this is a fairly interesting (if somewhat experimental) paper, Why only "fairly", and why is "experimental" bad, if it is experimental it makes it all the more interesting . >which could be much stronger with a little more effort, I think. It can be made much worse with your comments below. > For instance, the authors say "...we present an algorithm...", but >never actually describe said algorithm. (Yes, they provide source code, >but it's not easy to figure out the overall plan of attack from the >source; I certainly gave up.) You don't need the source, the algorithm is outlined in the text. >My guess is that the algorithm makes a >guess regarding how many terms are needed in the expansion, then simply >does linear algebra to solve for the coefficients, Right guess, but this was the trivial part of the algorithm, and this part was so trivial that it didn't need to be mentioned >but it would be nice to have that spelled out. OK, next time, I spell it out. >Similarly, although the authors have given a >URL pointing to a list of such expansions, Why? It takes one nano-second to cut-and-paste the url to your browser's window >it would be nice if the main >paper would give some description (say in the form of some overall >conjectures: which M(n-k)'s appear? What are the first (or last) few >nonzero coefficients?). OK, this remark is not so stupid. >Assuming the authors address these issues, I then see no reason why this >paper should not be published in JIS. And I see no reason why you shouldn't get fired, so you can stay in your job. >I have a few more specific comments: >(1) This may be just a personal style thing, but the authors go a trifle >overboard with the exclamation points (especially on page 3, line 3, >about which I quote Terry Pratchett: "Multiple exclamation marks are a >sure sign of a diseased mind.") Tell Terry that "what you say is what you are", he, and you, have diseased minds yourselves!!!! Multiple exclamation marks are signs of an enthusiastic mind!!!! >(2) I was greatly amused by the authors' notion of a "semi-rigorous" proof. I am glad that we gave you some comic relief. We, in turn, are amused by your amusement. >(3) page 2, first line of last para.: "we" should read "be" FINALLY, a comment that was useful. We made the suggested change.
Opinion 77 of Doron Zeilberger