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Infinity (Still) Blows My Mind

Aaron Montgomery*, Central Washington University
Doug DePrekel, Central Washington University
Talk Abstract: 
As filler in an undergraduate abstract algebra class, I tossed out a question that I had encountered in a high school math puzzler involving the final state of an infinite process. In the process, chips are added and removed from a bag and the question asks what remains at the end of all additions and removals. As the class discussed the solution, more questions arose than we could answer. The question sparked enough interest that an undergraduate and I decided to spend some time exploring the questions raised. Some of the early exploration suggested basic computational techniques, but soon we found that the more interesting questions led through an introduction to cardinality theory and the point-set topology of the real line. In the talk, I will present the original question and discuss some of our results. Hopefully, you will leave the talk with some new questions for your students to ponder.
Talk Subject: 
Logic and Foundations
Time Slot: 
Saturday, April 2, 2016 - 10:15
Room Number: 
STAG 161