Let’s start with a theorem about polynomials. You probably think that one knows everything about polynomials. Most mathematicians would think that, including myself. It came as a surprise when R. C. Mason in 1983 discovered a new, very interesting fact about polynomials [Ma 83]. Even more remarkable, this fact actually had been already discovered by another mathematician, W. Stothers [Sto81], but people had not paid attention and I learned of Stothers’ paper only much later, from U. Zannier [Za 95] who also rediscovered some of Stothers’ results. So the history of mathematics does not always flow smoothly.
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