How to write a 21st century proof

  • Leslie Lamport
Article

Abstract

A method of writing proofs is described that makes it harder to prove things that are not true. The method, based on hierarchical structuring, is simple and practical. The author’s twenty years of experience writing such proofs is discussed.

In addition to developing the students’ intuition about the beautiful concepts of analysis, it is surely equally important to persuade them that precision and rigor are neither deterrents to intuition, nor ends in themselves, but the natural medium in which to formulate and think about mathematical questions.

Michael Spivak, Calculus [7]

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

03B35 03F07 

Keywords

Structured proofs teaching proofs 

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References

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    L. Lamport, How to write a proof. In: Global Analysis in Modern Mathematics, pp. 311–321. Publish or Perish, Houston, Texas, 1993. A symposium in honor of Richard Palais’ sixtieth birthday. Also published in Amer. Math. Monthly 102 (1995), no. 7, 600–608.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Lamport
    • 1
  1. 1.MicrosoftMountain ViewUSA

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