Infinity (MAT2109.01)

Andrew McIntyre

A large part of modern mathematics has to do with how we conceptualize and manage the idea of infinity. This occurs in different places: the infinity of the horizon line that appeared with the development of perspective drawing, the infinitely small and infinitely many quantities of calculus, the infinite depth of fractals, the potentially infinite size of sets. This class will survey some of these concepts and briefly talk about how they are formalized in mathematics. There will be a particular emphasis on Cantor’s set theory, which was developed in the late nineteenth century, and which provided new logical tools and a new language to talk about infinite quantities. No mathematical background or knowledge will be assumed.

Module dates: 9/8, 9/12, 9/15, 9/19, 9/22, & 9/26.

Learning Outcomes:
- expand thinking about what mathematical objects are
- develop and articulate logical arguments based on definitions
- learn how definitions are developed and refined
- learn some history of mathematical thought around infinity

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 1
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (1st module block)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 1st Module Block , 2000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , Mathematics , One Credit
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