Graduate Math and Math Ed Talks Series

The Department of Mathematics at Western Michigan University presents graduate math talks. These talks are designed to be accessible to a first year graduate student and are a great place for graduate students to share mathematics and practice giving talks in a relaxed atmosphere, in front of a friendly audience. Talks will be on topics in mathematics as well as mathematics education.

Interested in giving a talk? Contact Richard Hollister: richard.a.hollister@wmich.edu

Time: 4 p.m. (time may vary)

Place: 6625 Everett Tower

Fall 2019

thursday, Sept. 26

What is an ordinal? presented by Richard Hollister, Department of Mathematics, Western Michigan University

Abstract: For the first talk of the 2019 Fall semester, I will lead the audience on an exploration of the concept of ordinals. We will begin with the necessary groundwork and then build two intuitive definitions of ordinals as sets and as numbers. We will make the distinction between cardinals and ordinals, touch on the idea of trans-finite induction and prove the existence of the first uncountable ordinal.

This talk will be exploratory in nature, so the audience is encouraged to ask questions and make comments during the talk. Some concepts that e will be using tin the talk include the Axiom of Choice by way of Zorn's Lemma and the Well-ordering Principle.