IRMACS: The Interdisciplinary Colloquium - Special Session: "Experimental Mathematics in Action: Insight through Computation"

Friday, September 28, 2007
11:30 - 12:30

Jonathan Borwein
Dalhousie University


The influence of the computer on mathematics might be compared to the influence the discovery of the microscope had on biology, or the telescope on astronomy. Like those sciences we now have a tool that allows us to see previously unimaginable phenomena. We are still in the very early days of beginning to understand the effect and usefulness of this new tool. Jonathan Borwein is one of the leaders of this exploration and argues, he hopes convincingly, that mathematics is increasingly becoming an experimental science.

This introductory lecture will be based on his latest book Experimental Mathematics in Action (see also and and his principal aim will be to expose participants to the incredible mathematical insight that can be gained through computation and experimentation. Professor Borwein's goal in the talk (and the book) is to "present a coherent variety of accessible examples of modern mathematics where intelligent computing plays a significant role and in so doing to highlight some of the key algorithms and to teach some of the key experimental approaches.