Elusive ‘Einstein’ Solves a Longstanding Math Problem

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Last November, after a decade of failed attempts, David Smith, a self-described shape hobbyist of Bridlington in East Yorkshire, England, suspected that he might have finally solved an open problem in the mathematics of tiling: That is, he thought he might have discovered an “einstein.”

In less poetic terms, an einstein is an “aperiodic monotile,” a shape that tiles a plane, or an…


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