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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 30 March 2004
The Evolution of the Platonic Toolkit
Thomas Forster
University of Cambridge
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: The most striking feature of the secular change in Mathematics over the last few thousand years is not so much the increase in the number of theorems proved, but the continuing spread of mathematics into areas not previously regarded as branches of it. Not only are mathematical methods successively applied to new topics, but entities not hitherto thought of as part of the subject matter of mathematics (knots, mazes...) get annexed to it, and entire suites of entities get dreamt up from scratch. This process is interesting both historically and logically, and I will be attempting to identify some deep trends in this history the better to make sense of it.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006