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Is Algebra Bad (for Mathematics)?

by

Kim Plofker
Union College

March 3, 2009
4:00 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served


Abstract:

Nowadays we rely on basic algebraic notation and methods in almost every mathematical subject. It may be hard to imagine that there was ever a time when mathematicians vehemently disagreed, like modern physicists fighting over string theory, on whether algebra was truly useful or just a pointless exercise in abstraction. This talk will survey some of the history of the development of algebra, the controversy over its use in Renaissance Europe, and its gradual conquest of mathematical practice.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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