Sponsored by the Rutgers University Department of Mathematics and the
Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS)

Andrew Baxter, Rutgers University, baxter{at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu
Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University, zeilberg {at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu

Title: Against Rigor

Speaker: Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010 5:00pm

Location: Hill Center, Room 705, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


The ancient Greeks gave (western) civilization quite a few gifts, but we should beware of Greeks bearing gifts. The gifts of theatre and democracy were definitely good ones, and perhaps even the gift of philosophy, but the "gift" of the so-called "axiomatic method" and the notion of "rigorous" proof did much more harm than good. [Note: this is a version of an invited talk given at the 9th Mathematical Knowledge Management, July 9, 2010. It is given again for the benefit of those who couldn't make it, and so that it could be videotaped.]