The Biggest Math Break Through The biggest break through or discovery in mathematics within the last fifty years would have to be the computer. A computer is a machine that can complete tasks such as mathematical calculations with reliability, accuracy and speed. Computers are used to teach every level of education. They can be used to teach young children addition and subtraction or older students advanced calculus. Computers are also used in scientific research to solve complicated mathematical problems and display mathematical data, which would be to complicated to write. Around 1958, John Backus developed FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation).

FORTRAN became a basic programming language for computers because it can process mathematical formulas. It is still in use today. One of the largest single calculations was accomplished in 1995 by a team of five physicists from IBM. They solved one million trillion mathematical problems by constantly running 448 computers for two years. They proved the hypothesis of a subatomic particle called a glue ball.

Presently, Japan, Italy and the United States are working together to build new supercomputers that will process the calculations 100 times faster. In 1996 Garry Kasparov played a supercomputer, Deep Blue, in a chess match. Deep Blue was the first computer to win a game against a reining world chess champion. Deep Blue will aid scientists in improving supercomputers that will solve complex problems.

Computers are used everyday but scientists, mathematicians and ordinary people. They are used to communicate, solve mathematical problems and teach students. They use mathematics in their "languages" and they can also solve complicated mathematical problems that could not be solved with a paper and pen. That is why the computer is the biggest breakthrough in mathematics in the last fifty years.