Mathematical Depth Workshop

April 11, 2014 - April 12, 2014
The Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine

Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway Building, 1321
University of California, Irvine
Irvine 92697
United States

All speakers:

Andrew Arana
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Mario Bonk
University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Geroch
University of Chicago
Jeremy Gray
The Open University
Marc Lange
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
John Stillwell
University of San Francisco
Jamie Tappenden
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Alasdair Urquhart
University of Toronto

Organisers:

Jeremy Heis
University of California, Irvine
Penelope Maddy
University of California, Irvine
University of California at Irvine
Jim Weatherall
University of California, Irvine

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Description

This workshop will bring together mathematicians and  historians and philosophers of mathematics to try to get a preliminary sense of whether or not the notion of ‘mathematical depth’ can play a useful role in our understanding of the nature and practice of mathematics.  Speakers have been encouraged to present an example or examples of concepts, theorems, subject areas that they think qualify as deep, or as not deep, and to lay out the particular mathematical features of those examples that lead them to make those judgments.  Then, in discussion, we aim to do several things: 

1.  See if there is agreement on which examples are deep and not deep.

2.  See if there are commonalities in the kinds of features cited in defense of depth and non-depth assessments in the various examples.

3.  Ask whether depth is or isn't the same as fruitfulness, surprisingness, importance, elegance, difficulty, fundamentalness, explanatoriness, etc.

4.  Ask whether depth seems likely to be an objective feature or something essentially tied to our interests, abilities, and so on. (Even natural science is tied to our interests and abilities, in that we might be drawn to certain areas of inquiry by our interests, hampered or helped by certain of our abilities, etc. The question is whether depth is tied to our interests and abilities in some more fundamental way.)

One possible outcome would be:  this is a non-starter.   Another would be:  this is worthy of further study. 

Schedule

Friday, April 11th, 2014

10:00AM - 10:45AM: Breakfast 
10:45AM - 11:45PM: James Tappenden 
11:45AM - 12:00PM: Coffee Break 
12:00PM - 1:00PM: John Stillwell 
1:00PM - 1:30PM: General Discussion 
1:30PM - 2:45PM: Lunch
2:45PM - 3:45PM: Robert Geroch 
3:45PM - 4:00PM: Coffee Break 
4:00PM - 5:00PM: Jeremy Gray 
5:00PM - 6:00PM: General Discussion


Saturday, April 12th, 2014

10:00AM - 10:45AM: Breakfast 
10:45AM - 11:45PM: Andrew Arana 
11:45AM - 12:00PM: Coffee Break 
12:00PM - 1:00PM: Mario Bonk 
1:00PM - 1:30PM: General Discussion 
1:30PM - 2:45PM: Lunch
2:45PM - 3:45PM: Alasdair Urquhart 
3:45PM - 4:00PM: Coffee Break 
4:00PM - 5:00PM: Marc Lange 
5:00PM - 6:00PM: General Discussion

For more information, please contact [email protected]

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Yes

April 10, 2014, 6:00pm PST

Who is attending?

2 people are attending:

(unaffiliated)
University of California, Riverside

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