Experimental Mathematics (journal)

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Experimental Mathematics  
Experimental Mathematics (journal) cover.jpg
DisciplineExperimental mathematics
Edited bySergei Tabachnikov
Publication details
Publication history
Standard abbreviations
Exp. Math.
ISSN1058-6458 (print)
1944-950X (web)
OCLC no.24346305

Experimental Mathematics is a quarterly scientific journal of mathematics published by A K Peters, Ltd. until 2010, now by Taylor & Francis. The journal publishes papers in experimental mathematics, broadly construed. The journal's mission statement describes its scope as follows: "Experimental Mathematics publishes original papers featuring formal results inspired by experimentation, conjectures suggested by experiments, and data supporting significant hypotheses."[1] As of 2013 the editor-in-chief is Sergei Tabachnikov (ICERM, Brown University).


Experimental Mathematics was established in 1992 by David Epstein, Silvio Levy, and Klaus Peters.[2] Experimental Mathematics was the first mathematical research journal to concentrate on experimental mathematics and to explicitly acknowledge its importance for mathematics as a general research field. The journal's launching was described as "something of a watershed".[3] Indeed, the launching of the journal in 1992 was surrounded by some controversy in the mathematical community about the value and validity of experimentation in mathematical research.[3][4] Some critics of the new journal suggested that it be renamed as the "Journal of Unproved Theorems".[5][6] In a 1995 article in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, in part responding to such criticism, Epstein and Levy described the journal's aims as follows:[7]

But the main difference reflects the philosophy above: we are interested not only in theorems and proofs but also in the way in which they have been or can be reached. Note that we do value proofs: experimentally inspired results that can be proved are more desirable than conjectural ones. However, we do publish significant conjectures or explorations in the hope of inspiring other, perhaps better-equipped researchers to carry on the investigation. The objective of Experimental Mathematics is to play a role in the discovery of formal proofs, not to displace them.

In recent years a number of other research journals in pure mathematics have substantially expanded their coverage of experimental mathematics and new journals devoted in large part to experimental mathematics have been launched. Thus, in 1998 the London Mathematical Society launched LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics[8] and in 2004 the Journal of Algebra started a new section called "Computational Algebra".[9] LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics was closed to new submissions in October 2015.[10]

Despite the initial controversy, Experimental Mathematics quickly established a solid reputation and is now a highly respected mathematical publication. The journal is reviewed cover-to-cover in Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH and is indexed in the Web of Science.


  1. ^ Statement of Philosophy & Publishing Criteria. Experimental Mathematics
  2. ^ Foreword by Igor Rivin, Colin Rourke and Caroline Series. Epstein birthday schrift. Geometry & Topology Monographs, vol. 1. Geometry & Topology Publications, Coventry, 1998. doi:10.2140/gtm.1998.1
  3. ^ a b James Robert Brown. Philosophy of Mathematics: Introduction to a World of Proofs and Pictures. Taylor & Francis, 1999. ISBN 978-0-415-12274-0; pages 186–187.
  4. ^ William Bown. New-wave mathematics: A new generation of mathematicians is rebelling against the ancient tradition of theorem and proof.New Scientist. August 3, 1991
  5. ^ Ursula Martin. Computers, Reasoning and Mathematical Practice. Computational Logic: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Computational Logic, Held in Marktoberdorf, Germany, July 29 – August 10, 1997. (U. Berger and H. Schwichtenberg, editors), pp. 301–346. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1999. ISBN 978-3-540-64589-4; page 326.
  6. ^ J. Horgan, The death of proof, Scientific American, Vol. 269 (1993), Issue 4, pp. 92–103
  7. ^ David Epstein and Silvio Levy. Experimentation and Proof in Mathematics. Notices of the American Mathematical Society. vol. 42 (1995), no. 6, pp. 670–674
  8. ^ LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics, London Mathematical Society. Accessed January 13, 2010.
  9. ^ Announcement. Launch of a new section: Computational Algebra. Journal of Algebra. vol. 276 (2004), pp. 1–2
  10. ^ LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics. Accessed April 25, 2016.

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