EECS 500 WINTER 2006

Chaitin Abstract

Thursday, Feb. 16
Dr. Gregory Chaitin, IBM Research

Is mathematics like Biology? Is it like physics?

Abstract -
In my new book META MATH!, published this October, I argue that math is like biology because both contain extremely complex objects, in the case of math, the infinitely complex bits of the halting probability Omega. On the other hand I shall argue that math is also like physics in that both are tentative compressions of masses of experimental or computational data. In particular, I wll discuss experimental mathematics, the quest for new axioms, and specific situations in which mathematicians are behaving in some ways like physicists, who are not as careful as mathematicians are with proving everything.

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