Thursday, February 11, 2016 — 4:30 PM EST

Michael Deveau, Department of Pure Math, University of Waterloo

"Calculus In Reverse"

In a typical first-year calculus course, we often introduce students to new results in a somewhat ad-hoc fashion. Do some of these theorems really belong in a calculus / real analysis course? What is it about the real numbers that makes these theorems work? We take a brief tour through some of the results of a standard calculus / real analysis course with a fresh perspective: the logician's program of Reverse Mathematics -- as interpreted by analysts, at least -- and investigate what makes $\mathbb{R}$ appropriate (or not) for calculus. In addition, we also discuss a pressing question: If we are ever contacted by an alien race, should we send them a copy of one of our calculus textbooks?

MC 5479

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