In collaboration with the London Mathematical Society (LMS).


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The formalisation of mathematics is an ongoing process that arguably started as early as the 19th century, intensified with the foundational crisis at the start of the 20th century, and since the 1970s has been conducted with the help of computers. Recent decades have seen the machine formalisation of lengthy and technically complicated proofs, but some have argued that even these were not representative of modern mathematics. Recent achievements by a number of different groups are starting to challenge this scepticism. The speaker will outline some of these, while also noting some of the remaining trouble spots.

About the speaker

Lawrence Paulson

Lawrence Paulson FRS is an American computer scientist. He is a Professor of Computational Logic at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. He is best known for the cornerstone text on the programming language ML, ML for the Working Programmer. His research is based around the interactive theorem prover Isabelle, which he introduced in 1986. He has worked on the verification of cryptographic protocols using inductive definitions, and he has also formalised the constructible universe of Kurt Gödel. Recently he has built a new theorem prover, MetiTarski, for real-valued special functions.

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Webinar: Formalising 21st-Century Mathematics
Date and time
Monday 15 January, 4:00pm - 5:30pm

This event is sold out