Colloquium: “Incompleteness in mathematics”

Marshall University Math Colloquium
February 24, 2016

Carl Mummert
Marshall University

In 1931, Kurt Gödel published two theorems, known as the “incompleteness theorems,” which revolutionized the foundations of mathematics in much the same way that Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized the foundations of physics. In this talk, I will discuss what the incompleteness theorems say in plain language, and why they were so revolutionary. Along the way, we will encounter a few other few other major figures from the foundations of mathematics: Bertrand Russell, David Hilbert, Hermann Weyl, and L.E.J. Brouwer. No mathematical background beyond College Algebra is required for this talk.