Identities in search of identity

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The time is ripe to start a science of identities for their own sake, without paying lip-service to high-brow mathematics. Although putting combinatorial, (abstract-)algebraic or analytic flesh and blood on identities did lead and will lead to considerable insight as well as new identities, there is also much to be gained in forgetting advanced mathematics, and starting a new sub-discipline of high-school mathematics called the theory of identities. Preamble. I would like to add to Xavier Viennot's charming after-dinner speech, in which he listed a large set of properties that conferences may have, and which were all enjoyed by the present one, in addition to "something special that comes from the heart", the following. There are many conferences in which a Bourbaki is an invited speaker, and many conferences in which a software developer is an invited speaker, but this one is the first one, that I know of, that has both (Pierre Cartier and Gaston Gonnet, respectively.) So we are nearing the blissful days of the mathematical messiah in which Concrete shall dwell with Abstract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 30 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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