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Yang-Hui He, Vishnu Jejjala, Challenger Mishra, Max Sharnoff

In this work we employ machine learning to understand structured mathematical data involving finite groups and derive a theorem about necessary properties of generators of finite simple groups. We create a database of all 2-generated subgroups of the symmetric group on n-objects and conduct a classification of finite simple groups among them using shallow feed-forward neural networks. We show that this neural network classifier can decipher the property of simplicity with varying accuracies depending on the features. Our neural network model leads to a natural conjecture concerning the generators of a finite simple group. We subsequently prove this conjecture. This new toy theorem comments on the necessary properties of generators of finite simple groups. We show this explicitly for a class of sporadic groups for which the result holds. Our work further makes the case for a machine motivated study of algebraic structures in pure mathematics and highlights the possibility of generating new conjectures and theorems in mathematics with the aid of machine learning.

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