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The recent paper, "Aftermath," by Peter Cameron (arXiv:1111.4050v1), contains this remark concerning the classification of the finite simple groups:

The Classification of Finite Simple Groups [16] is the greatest collaborative effort ever in mathematics, running to about 15000 journal pages. (Ironically, although the theorem was announced in 1980, the proof contained a gap which has only just been filled.)

Can someone explain (at a high level) what was the gap and who filled it? (Cameron gives no reference.) Thanks!

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I believe it may be a reference to the classification of quasi-thin groups, filled by Aschbacher and Smith around 2004. –  Arturo Magidin Nov 28 '11 at 2:09
    
Thank you, Arturo! After reading a bit on quasithin groups, I see that you are surely correct. –  Joseph O'Rourke Nov 28 '11 at 14:01

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Answering as a CW so the question will not appear as unanswered.

I believe it may be a reference to the classification of quasithin groups; this was filled by Aschbacher and Smith in a series of papers around 2004.

The fact that this was a gap that needed to be filled only became apparent as the proof was being organized for re-publication (in the AMS book series).

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