The Experimental Mathematician: the Pleasure of Discovery and the Role of Proof
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The emergence of powerful mathematical computing environments, the growing availability of correspondingly powerful (multi-processor) computers and the pervasive presence of the internet allow for mathematicians, students and teachers, to proceed heuristically and ‘quasi-inductively’. We may increasingly use symbolic and numeric computation, visualization tools, simulation and data mining. The unique features of our discipline make this both more problematic and more challenging. For example, there is still no truly satisfactory way of displaying mathematical notation on the web; and we care more about the reliability of our literature than does any other science. The traditional role of proof in mathematics is arguably under siege – for reasons both good and bad.
Keywordsaesthetics constructivism experimental mathematics humanist philosophy insight integer relations proof
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