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Analogies and Metaphors to Explain Gödel's Theorem

by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Award: George Pólya

Year of Award: 1983

Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, (1982), pp. 98-114

Summary: An explanation of Gödel's Theorem involving the concept of how self-reference, or mixing of different levels, can be brought into mathematics.

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About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, (1982)) Excerpted from the   Douglas R. Hofstadter of Indiana University was a Guggenheim Fellow at Stanford University during 1980-19981. In 1980 he won the Pulitzer prize for his book “Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.”  He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oregon. He said of his work, “My current research in artificial intelligence involves attempts to get a machine to see patterns in simple structures and to generalize those patterns in ‘natural’ or ‘artistic’ ways. You could call this an attempt to program ‘artificial intuition.’ My passion is to gain insight into the intuitive processes of thought.”

Subject classification(s): Set Theory
Publication Date: 
Sunday, July 20, 2008

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