"If Hollywood had made up this story, you would think: 'Well, that's pretty far-fetched. Cheesy. All a bit overblown.' But, as we know, reality can be stranger than fiction." Forty-year-old Christopher Havens has been in prison near Seattle for nine years. He had dropped out of school, gone off the rails, couldn't find a job, became a drug addict, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. In prison, Havens's life changed when he discovered his passion for math. Looking for a mentor to push his thinking, he wrote a letter to a math publisher that got forwarded to mathematics professor Umberto Cerruti in Turin. After Havens submitted a correct formula to a complicated problem Cerruti gave him, the professor invited him to tackle an ancient math problem he himself had been puzzled by. Havens cracked the code and the two formulated a proof, which was published in January 2020. Havens's passion for math has even inspired other inmates, who've started a math club in prison.

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