Thursday, April 11 • 11:00am - 11:45am
Smalltalk: Big Ideas About Little Sets

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Which sets of Real numbers are negligible? Dictionary.com tells us that “negligible” means “so small, trifling, or unimportant that it may safely be neglected or disregarded.” It is hardly surprising that such a notion must be very much context-dependent, not less so in mathematics. We shall focus on three distinct concepts of “trifling” subsets of R introduced by Cantor, Lebesgue, and Baire respectively, with each concept arising naturally in a pursuit of a basic mathematical question. Among other things, I will try to convince the student audience that the set of irrationals is much “larger,” “thicker,” and “longer” than the set of rationals, and in developing the ideas underlying such a comparison,crack open a door to a fascinating mathematical subject.


Leo Livshits

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics

Thursday April 11, 2019 11:00am - 11:45am
Room 201, Davis Science Center

Attendees (2)