Last month, the mathematics and tech communities lost a giant. Solomon Golomb’s discoveries in polynomials led to technology behind some of the most used devices society depends on today.
The logic behind 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even GPS all use polynomials that determine the shift register sequences these systems use to encode the data they send.
His insight into polyominoes later inspired Tetris (“tetromino tennis”). He created and solved countless math and wordplay puzzles. He also significantly contributed to United States’ understanding and exploration of space.
The impact Solomon Golomb left cannot be overstated, sparking Stephen Wolfram, the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, to reflect on Solomon’s legacy and the mark he left on him.
Wolfram and Golomb’s paths crossed in an unusual way, and their efforts to innovate inevitably brought them together. After 35 years of friendship, Stephen’s post about a man who left so much to the math and science world, is a very worthwhile read.