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Topic: "What is a Proof, Really?" - Keith Devlin
Replies: 138   Last Post: Dec 10, 2014 2:17 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 kirby urner Posts: 3,690 Registered: 11/29/05
Re: "What is a Proof, Really?" - Keith Devlin
Posted: Nov 29, 2014 5:44 PM
 att1.html (2.5 K)

On Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 11:12 AM, Joe Niederberger <niederberger@comcast.net
> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> Finally, I'm happy to accept your chess problem as mathematical. Frankly, I
> don't know what a survey on that question, given to working mathematicians,
> would turn up. And, any mathematically acceptable way of arguing it would
> have to be logical in my opinion. (If you have an illogical approach that
> is also mathematical I'd be fascinated to hear about it.)
>
> Cheers,
> Joe N
>

I think we mostly agree. Criteria apply.

A proof is not a recipe nor even algorithm.

An algorithm tends to have proofs in the background, to back it up as it
were, e.g. we make use of V + F = E + 2 in some step in a computer program,
e.g. we get E from V + F - 2, but then why is it safe to get E in this
way?

In the background: Euler's Theorem for Polyhedrons and the many proofs
thereof, my favorite probably the one by G. K. C. Von Staudt:

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/junkyard/euler/interdig.html

[ however this is not my favorite forumulation of it; that would be in
Peter Cromwell's Polyhedra, cite http://www.liv.ac.uk/~spmr02/book/ ]

The other thing I'd say is: lets not go overboard in assuming some finite
roster of individuals tagged as "mathematician" truly owns or controls or
governs the discipline and shared heritage we loosely call mathematics
("loosely" because anything tighter would be clearly too tight and
therefore outright wrong).

Innovations come in from left field all the time e.g. most naturally from
closely neighboring disciplines, and those self-identifying as official
spokespersons for mathematics, i.e. mathematicians, must scramble to keep
their background cosmetically acceptable i.e. the pros keep it looking
professional, add the right panache (sometimes a little lipstick on the pig
is all one needs).

Kirby

Date Subject Author
11/24/14 Carleton Washburne
11/24/14 Dave L. Renfro
11/24/14 kirby urner
11/24/14 Robert Hansen
11/24/14 kirby urner
11/25/14 GS Chandy
11/25/14 Gary Tupper
11/25/14 Louis Talman
11/27/14 GS Chandy
11/25/14 Bishop, Wayne
11/25/14 Robert Hansen
11/25/14 kirby urner
11/25/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 Robert Hansen
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 Robert Hansen
11/26/14 Carleton Washburne
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 kirby urner
11/26/14 Joe Niederberger
11/26/14 kirby urner
11/26/14 Carleton Washburne
11/27/14 Robert Hansen
11/27/14 Joe Niederberger
11/27/14 Robert Hansen
11/27/14 Joe Niederberger
11/27/14 GS Chandy
11/27/14 GS Chandy
11/27/14 Carleton Washburne
11/27/14 israeliteknight
11/27/14 Anna Roys
11/27/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 kirby urner
11/28/14 Bishop, Wayne
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
11/27/14 Dan Christensen
11/27/14 GS Chandy
11/27/14 Carleton Washburne
11/28/14 Joe Niederberger
11/28/14 kirby urner
11/28/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 Anna Roys
11/28/14 Anna Roys
11/28/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 Anna Roys
11/30/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 Anna Roys
11/28/14 Joe Niederberger
11/28/14 kirby urner
11/28/14 Robert Hansen
11/28/14 kirby urner
11/28/14 Carleton Washburne
11/28/14 Domenico Rosa
11/28/14 israeliteknight
11/28/14 Domenico Rosa
11/28/14 GS Chandy
11/28/14 Richard Strausz
11/28/14 israeliteknight
11/28/14 kirby urner
11/28/14 Joe Niederberger
11/28/14 Joe Niederberger
11/28/14 Joe Niederberger
11/29/14 israeliteknight
11/29/14 kirby urner
11/29/14 Carleton Washburne
11/29/14 kirby urner
11/29/14 Robert Hansen
11/29/14 Robert Hansen
11/29/14 Louis Talman
11/29/14 Robert Hansen
11/29/14 Joe Niederberger
11/29/14 Joe Niederberger
11/29/14 kirby urner
11/29/14 Joe Niederberger
11/29/14 Richard Strausz
11/29/14 israeliteknight
11/29/14 Carleton Washburne
11/30/14 Carleton Washburne
11/29/14 Carleton Washburne
11/29/14 Carleton Washburne
11/30/14 israeliteknight
11/30/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
11/30/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Anna Roys
12/1/14 GS Chandy
12/1/14 GS Chandy
12/1/14 GS Chandy
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 kirby urner
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Dave L. Renfro
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 kirby urner
12/1/14 Louis Talman
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Robert Hansen
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 kirby urner
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/1/14 Joe Niederberger
12/2/14 kirby urner
12/2/14 Joe Niederberger
12/2/14 kirby urner
12/2/14 Robert Hansen
12/2/14 Joe Niederberger
12/2/14 Carleton Washburne
12/2/14 GS Chandy
12/3/14 Joe Niederberger
12/3/14 Joe Niederberger
12/3/14 Robert Hansen
12/3/14 Joe Niederberger
12/3/14 Joe Niederberger
12/3/14 Robert Hansen
12/3/14 Joe Niederberger
12/9/14 GS Chandy
12/9/14 Joe Niederberger
12/10/14 GS Chandy
12/10/14 Carleton Washburne