Polymath and The Density Hales-Jewett Theorem
Van der Waerden’s theorem has two well-known and very different generalizations. One is the Hales-Jewett theorem, one of the cornerstones of Ramsey theory. The other is Endre Szemerédi’s famous density version of the theorem, which has played a pivotal role in the recent growth of additive combinatorics. In 1991 Furstenberg and Katznelson proved the density Hales-Jewett theorem, a result that has the same relationship to the Hales-Jewett theorem that Szemerédi’s theorem has to van der Waerden’s theorem. Furstenberg and Katznelson used a development of the ergodic-theoretic machinery introduced by Furstenberg. Very recently, a new and much more elementary proof was discovered in a rather unusual way - by a collaborative process carried out in the open with the help of blogs and a wiki. In this informal paper, we briefly discuss this discovery process and then give a detailed sketch of the new proof.
KeywordsProper Subset Arithmetic Progression Uniform Measure Average Argument Combinatorial Line
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