Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Chaitin, Gregory (1947–)




American mathematician and computer scientist at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center who is the chief architect of a new subject known as algorithmic information theory, which has profound consequences for our ideas about randomness. In particular, because of the limitations of computers and the programs they run, Chaitin has shown that there is an inherent uncertainty or unknowability in mathematics that is similar to the uncertainty principle in physics. Although there are an infinite number of mathematical facts, they are, for the most part, unrelated to each other and impossible to tie together with unifying theorems. His powerful message is that most of mathematics is true for no particular reason: math is true by accident.


Related entry

   • Chaitin's constant


Related category

   • MATHEMATICIANS