Event Detail

Event Type: 
Lonseth Lecture
Tuesday, May 24, 1994 - 05:00

Speaker Info

University of California-Berkeley

Mathematics, as a subject, derives its beauty from its internal consistency and sound logic. It is thus axiomatic that the proofs and argumentations used in the development of mathematics be absolutely accurate and error-free. Yet the history of mathematics is replete with instances of false starts, half-truths, and incomplete or downright erroneous arguments. Even the greatest of mathematicians are known to have erred in their proofs. In the talk, Professor Lam will give a light-hearted view of some of the famous (or infamous) errors made in the long history of mathematics. Along the way, he will also comment on the pedagogical values of mistakes in mathematics, and discuss ways by which we may try to minimize our mistakes.