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Mathematical proofs at a crossroad
 Theory Is Forever, Lectures Notes in Comput. Sci. 3113
, 2004
"... Abstract. For more than 2000 years, from Pythagoras and Euclid to Hilbert and Bourbaki, mathematical proofs were essentially based on axiomaticdeductive reasoning. In the last decades, the increasing length and complexity of many mathematical proofs led to the expansion of some empirical, experimen ..."
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Abstract. For more than 2000 years, from Pythagoras and Euclid to Hilbert and Bourbaki, mathematical proofs were essentially based on axiomaticdeductive reasoning. In the last decades, the increasing length and complexity of many mathematical proofs led to the expansion of some empirical, experimental, psychological and social aspects, yesterday only marginal, but now changing radically the very essence of proof. In this paper, we try to organize this evolution, to distinguish its different steps and aspects, and to evaluate its advantages and shortcomings. Axiomaticdeductive proofs are not a posteriori work, a luxury we can marginalize nor are computerassisted proofs bad mathematics. There is hope for integration! 1
The Complexity of the Four Colour Theorem
, 2009
"... The four colour theorem states that the vertices of every planar graph can be coloured with at most four colours so that no two adjacent vertices receive the same colour. This theorem is famous for many reasons, including the fact that its original 1977 proof includes a nontrivial computer verifica ..."
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The four colour theorem states that the vertices of every planar graph can be coloured with at most four colours so that no two adjacent vertices receive the same colour. This theorem is famous for many reasons, including the fact that its original 1977 proof includes a nontrivial computer verification. Recently, a formal proof of the theorem was obtained with the equational logic program Coq. In this paper we use the computational method for evaluating (in a uniform way) the complexity of mathematical problems presented in [8, 6] to evaluate the complexity of the four colour theorem. Our method uses a Diophantine equational representation of the theorem. We show that the four colour theorem has roughly the same complexity as the Riemann hypothesis and almost four times the complexity of Fermat’s last theorem. 1
S.: Passages of proof
 Bull. Eur. Assoc. Theor. Comput. Sci. EATCS
, 2004
"... Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them? Hamlet 3/1, by W. Shakespeare In this paper we propose a new perspective on the evolution and history of the idea of mathematical proof. Proofs w ..."
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Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them? Hamlet 3/1, by W. Shakespeare In this paper we propose a new perspective on the evolution and history of the idea of mathematical proof. Proofs will be studied at three levels: syntactical, semantical and pragmatical. Computerassisted proofs will be give a special attention. Finally, in a highly speculative part, we will anticipate the evolution of proofs under the assumption that the quantum computer will materialize. We will argue that there is little ‘intrinsic ’ difference between traditional and ‘unconventional ’ types of proofs. 2 Mathematical Proofs: An Evolution in Eight Stages Theory is to practice as rigour is to vigour. D. E. Knuth Reason and experiment are two ways to acquire knowledge. For a long time mathematical
Evaluating the Complexity of Mathematical Problems. Part 1
, 2009
"... In this paper we provide a computational method for evaluating in a uniform way the complexity of a large class of mathematical problems. The method, which is inspired by NKS1, is based on the possibility to completely describe complex mathematical problems, like the Riemann hypothesis, in terms of ..."
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In this paper we provide a computational method for evaluating in a uniform way the complexity of a large class of mathematical problems. The method, which is inspired by NKS1, is based on the possibility to completely describe complex mathematical problems, like the Riemann hypothesis, in terms of (very) simple programs. The method is illustrated on a variety of examples coming from different areas of mathematics and its power and limits are studied.
Mathematical Problems. Part 1 ∗
, 2008
"... In this paper we provide a computational method for evaluating in a uniform way the complexity of a large class of mathematical problems. The method is illustrated on a variety of examples coming from different areas of mathematics and its power and limits are studied. 1 ..."
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In this paper we provide a computational method for evaluating in a uniform way the complexity of a large class of mathematical problems. The method is illustrated on a variety of examples coming from different areas of mathematics and its power and limits are studied. 1