Proofs are dead, long live algorithms (Videotaped lecture)

By Doron Zeilberger

Delivered Feb. 14, 2014

Videotaped lecture:   vimeo version         youtube version

[This lecture was delivered on February 14, 2014 at a one-day confernece on "Proof Comprehension" organized by Juan Pablo Mejia-Ramos]

The notion of mathematical proof, bequeathed to us by Euclid, did some good, of course, but it also did lots of harm, by turning away mathematically talented people from mathematics and science, because they felt oppressed by its pedantic rigidity.

At any rate, even if it was a good idea at one time, that time has passed! Very soon proofs will lose their dominion, and a more open-minded attitude to mathematics, inspired by our silicon brethren, will take place, that would emphasize algorithms and experimentation, rather than formal proofs.

And this is good news for educators! It is much more fun to teach, and learn, algorithms rather than to teach and try to learn (most often unsuccessfully) this artificial and rigid art form called "(rigorous) mathematical proof".

So why not start right now, and teach algorithms (and concepts!) rather than proofs!

Acknowledgement: The video was filmed and uplodaded to vimeo by Matthew Russell. It was uploaded to youtube by Edinah Gnang.

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