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Some thoughts on the
History of Mathematics

These are the ideas of the twentieth century mathematician Abraham Robinson

Thesis: The results of the centuries arouse deep admiration but are built on shifting sands. of foundations of mathematics now as well as in the past.

Thesis: The differentiation between Philosophy and Mathematics was less distinct then than now.

Thesis: Axioms have always (until early 19 tex2html_wrap_inline120 century) been regarded as statements of tex2html_wrap_inline126 .

Soon thereafter the first form axiomatic theories were proposed.

20 century: Set theory achieves the position once occupied by Geometry

Set Theory  also went through a similar evolution.

Set Theory  and Mathematical Logic - advances have been made thru the codification of notion (e.g. truth). There is every reason to believe the codification will continue, bringing new advances.eject

Abraham Robinson
Born: 6 Oct 1918 in Waldenburg, Germany
Died: 11 April 1974 in New Haven, Connecticut

Robinson's family emigrated to Palestine in 1933, forced out of Germany since they were Jewish. There Robinson studied mathematics under Fraenkel and Levitzki. He went to the Sorbonne in 1939 but was forced to flee when the Germans invaded. After reaching England on one of the last small boats to evacuate refugees, he changed his name from Robinsohn and worked on aerodynamics during World War II.

After the War he attended London University and received a Ph.D. in 1949 for pioneering work in model theory, the metamathematics of algebraic systems. He went to Toronto in 1951 to take up a chair of applied mathematics but left for Jerusalem in 1957 to fill Fraenkel's chair.

During a year visiting Princeton he made the discovery for which he is best remembered, non-standard analysis. In 1967 he was appointed to Yale where he died of cancer at the age of 55.

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Don Allen
Mon Apr 21 11:34:22 CDT 1997