Problems have always been an essential part of my mathematical life. A well chosen problem can isolate an essential difficulty in a particular area, serving as a benchmark against which progress in this area can be measured. An innocent looking problem often gives no hint as to its true nature. It might be like a “marshmallow,” serving as a tasty tidbit supplying a few moments of fleeting enjoyment. Or it might be like an “acorn,” requiring deep and subtle new insights from which a mighty oak can develop.
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