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Graduate Seminar

Clive Newstead
Carnegie Mellon University
Title: Making sense of abstract nonsense

Abstract: Applications of category theory to other areas of mathematics often take the form, "oh, well that's just a [abstract construction from cateogry theory] so by [abstract theorem from category theory] the result is trivial". This is known as proof by abstract nonsense, and is annoying to many mathematicians. As Peter Freyd once jokingly said, "Perhaps the purpose of categorical algebra is to show that which is trivial is trivially trivial." The purpose of this talk is to illustrate some of the basic concepts of category theory as they appear in more familiar areas in mathematics, and to examine the tools that category theory has to offer. No background in category theory is required.

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Wean Hall 8220
Submitted by:  Yangxi Ou
Note: Video on Youtube: