[FOM] interesting talk

Kreinovich, Vladik vladik at utep.edu
Sun Apr 27 18:39:30 EDT 2014

Dear Friends, 

At a recent conference, Philosophy, Mathematics, Linguistics: Aspects of Interaction 2014 (PhML-2014). 
International interdisciplinary conference, April 21-25, 2014, St. Petersburg, 
Russia, there was a very interesting talk by Nikolai "Kolia" Vavilov, a prominent algebraist, titled
"Complexity and reliability of proofs and computations" 

Here is the author's abstract: In the talk I plan to discuss the following phenomenon: a short formal or computational proof that we do not understand may be much less reliable than a very long conceptual proof that we understand. I will illustrate this thought on many real life examples. In particular, we could not find a single formula in recent number theory books, which would be longer than 2.5 in, and yet stand a computer verification. Also, I will discuss what it really means to verify an extremely long and complex proof, such as Thompson-Feit theorem, by computer.

I am sending, to Nikolai, a copy of this email.  

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