FOM: ReplyToLou

Martin Davis martind at
Tue Oct 28 18:56:21 EST 1997

        At 04:16 PM 10/28/97 -0600, Lou van den Dries wrote:
> (By the way, the general notion of algorithm does not seem to
>me on the high school math level, so any result that uses this notion
>essentially seems to me not "of general intellectual interest"
>according to some of the definitions I have heard bandied about,
>like "you can tell it to your neighbour", etc. And if you are
>willing to make a case that Turing's or Church's analysis can be
>made accesssible on the high school level, you could make just as
>good a case (probably a better case) that complex numbers, 
>and algebraic curves and their genus can be made accessible on
>that level.)

I think that in the form: "what you could do with your computer assuming
arbitarily large memory and time" it can be widely disseminated.

Most people won't think to ask whether this concept has the kind of
invariance that the deeper analyses and equivalence proofs establish. Those
who do can be reassured.

Martin Davis

More information about the FOM mailing list