An Enquiry Concerning Human (and Computer!) [Mathematical] Understanding

By Doron Zeilberger

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[Appeared in: C.S. Calude, ed., "Randomness & Complexity, from Leibniz to Chaitin" World Scientific, Singapore, 2007, pp. 383-410.].

Written: April 13, 2007.

One of my greatest meta-heroes is Greg Chaitin, one of the most original thinkers of our time. I was very honored when Cristian Calude invited me to contribute something for a festschrift that he is editing in honor of Greg's 60th birthday. But I couldn't just submit yet another mathematical paper, so I decided to do meta-mathematics, that is greatly inspired by Chaitin's seminal work, but also offers some alternative interpretations, and at the same time advocates my high-school-algebra approach to doing mathematics.

Added June 11, 2008: Read Noam Zeilberger's insightful remarks

Added Dec. 31, 2022: read Richard Kaufman's Ode to Finitisn,

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