Of course, I could ask who conjectured the most, but conjectures can later be shown to be either true or false, so perhaps who has the most unresolved conjectures, in publication? More than that though, also considered would be mathematicians with a reputation towards conjecture for discussion.

Another related question would be the person with the most disproven conjectures, in publication? I'm also looking for interesting accounts of someone being shown to be wrong in conjecture while alive, yet still go on to write mathematics, hopefully of high quality, despite the setback.

  • $\begingroup$ The study of the most interesting and, above all, the most fruitful conjectures is an interesting subject, but not, in my opinion, the sudy of the mathematicians who mode more conjectures. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. While some of these questions deal with number of conjectures, I'm also interested in finding a case where someone was shown to have made a false conjecture within their lifetime, yet continue to do math despite the setback. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Probably Paul Erdos was the champion in the number of conjectures, but I do not want to do the research needed to prove this. Another candidate that I know was Lee Rubel from the University of Illinois. But on my opinion, it is a waste of time to count such things.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't know. I think that the history behind conjecturing could potentially be useful for those that end up conjecturing. Also, questions along these lines could also potentially be beneficial for popularizing mathematics, I think. I'd say mathematicians are noted heavily, and right or wrong, for what they conjecture, and I think a lot of lay people find this aspect of mathematics interesting. Thanks for the info about Paul Erdos and Lee Rubel. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2017 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the question is of no interest because of the words "number" and "published". Conjectures are not a commodity, and their number is really irrelevant. And unpublished conjectures can be more relevant/influential than published ones. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2017 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ My intent behind the in publication criteria was to give higher priority to the formality and deliberateness behind what appears in print, I can see your point about the first couple of questions, however, I think the last one doesn't use counting at all. Merely to find an account of a mathematician having faced the setback of a disproven conjecture within their lifetime, only to continue to do math. Do you know of any such account? Either way, thanks for your time. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 4:03

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