OT: Mathematics [was: The hoard speaks -- or writes?]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 9 14:48:50 UTC 2007

At 5/9/2007 09:39 AM, Jim Parish wrote:
>Charles Doyle wrote:
> > Back when I was studying mathematics at the University of Texas in the
> > 1960s, my aged mentor, Robert Lee Moore (inventor of what's now
> > called topology; he called it point-set theory) used to proclaim that
> > he'd known only one good mathematician who was also a proficient
> > calculator, and that individual was ashamed of the fact.
>Erm. Speaking as a professional mathematician and sometime teacher
>of the history of mathematics: though an important figure in his own
>right, R. L. Moore did not invent topology; credit for that, depending on
>how you define the field, goes either to Henri Poincare

which is why it is called poin-set topology

>or to Leonhard
>Euler. (The full name of what Moore taught you, I presume, is "point-set
>topology", which is the underpinning of all of the other varieties of the
>subject. Moore didn't invent that either.)
>As for good mathematicians who were also proficient calculators, I'd put
>forward John von Neumann as a notable example.

But he had ENIAC and EDVAC to help him.

>We now return you to your regularly-scheduled discussion of
>Jim Parish


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