WKU Math Symposium ’08

Saturday morning, I gave a keynote at the 28th Annual Mathematics Symposium at Western Kentucky University.  My talk, “How Big Can You Think?” began with a simple problem whose answer is so large it cannot be written down, even approximately, with elementary notation, such as towers of exponents. I tried to follow by saying that this inexpressability can be resolved with more powerful notation that greatly extends our ability to concisely describe numbers. I finished with an example (the “Harvey Friedman number”) which defies even the arrow notation used for Graham’s Number.

I met many interesting people, including

Dr. Peter Hamburger
Dr. Molly Dunkum
Dr. Dominic Lanphier
Dr. John Armstrong
Dr. Jason Rosenhouse
Dr. David Benko
Dr. Peter Lax
Dr. Peter Dragnev
Dr. Claus Ernst
Dr. Barry Burnson

Finally, here’s a picture Natalie took of me just after I spoke.

DSCF5067

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