Category Archives: What is Mathematics

Fundamental Examples

It is not unusual that a single example or a very few shape an entire mathematical discipline. Can you give examples for such examples?  I’d love to learn about further basic or central examples and I think such examples serve … Continue reading

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Rodica Simion: Immigrant Complex

Rodica Simion immigrated to the United States from Romania. She was a Professor of Mathematices at George Washington University untill her untimely death on January 7, 2000. Her poem  “Immigrant complex” appeared in : “Against Infinity”, An Anthology of Contemporary … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Poetry, What is Mathematics | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Proof by Induction with a Difficulty

  The time has come to prove that the number of edges in every finite tree is one less than the number of vertices (a tree is a connected graph with no cycle). The proof is by induction, but first you need … Continue reading

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Ulam and The Future of Mathematics

Ulam was scheduled to give a talk at the University of Chicago titled “The future of mathematics.” Stanislaw Ulam was a rather famous mathematician and a major player in building the H-bomb, so a large audience gathered.

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Polymath1: Success!

“polymath” based on internet image search And here is a link to the current draft of the paper. Update:  March 26, the name of the post originally entitled “Polymath1: Probable Success!” was now updated to “Polymath1: Success!” It is now becoming … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Combinatorics, What is Mathematics | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Mathematics, Science, and Blogs

Michael Nielsen wrote a lovely essay entitled “Doing science online” about  mathematics, science,  and blogs. Michael’s primary example is a post over Terry Tao’s blog about the Navier-Stokes equation and he suggests blogs as a way of scaling up scientific conversation. Michael is writing … Continue reading

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Fundamental Impossibilities

An Understanding of our fundamental limitations is among the most important contributions of science and of mathematics. There are quite a few cases where things that seemed possible and had been pursued for centuries in fact turned out to be … Continue reading

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Can Category Theory Serve as the Foundation of Mathematics?

Usually the foundation of mathematics is thought of as having two pillars: mathematical logic and set theory.  We briefly discussed mathematical logic and the foundation of mathematics in the story of Gödel, Brouwer, and Hilbert. The story of set theory … Continue reading

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Gödel, Hilbert and Brouwer

Is mathematics a consistent theory? Or, rather, is there a danger of finding a correct mathematical proof for a false statement like “0 = 1”?  These questions became quite relevant at the end of the nineteenth century, when some mathematical … Continue reading

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About Conjectures: Shmuel Weinberger

The following paragraph is taken from the original “too personal for publication draft” of an article entitled ” ‘Final values’ of functors” by Shmuel Weinberger for a volume in honor of Guido Mislin’s retirement from ETH. (L’enseignement Mathematique 54(2008), 180-182.) Shmuel’s remarks … Continue reading

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