Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | August 11, 2009

Induction

A childhood story from RTC. He is male, British, a professor in a Russel Group university.

Two little snippets which may or may not be of interest.

I do remember that when I was about 12 or 13 at school we were taught mathematical induction for the first time. Despite the fact that I
was supposed to be the maths whizz who would catch on to any new concept very quickly, I distinctly remember feeling cheated by induction. At that age we had only ever proved things directly, and with induction we seemed to be side-stepping the issue and not proving anything.

Later at the age of 17 or 18 when I was a student at Cambridge I remember trying to convince my brothers that the set of real numbers between 0 and 1 is uncountable. They in their turn felt that they were being hoodwinked by me and I almost got beaten up for my troubles!

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