[FOM] my short retirement speech

Harvey Friedman friedman at math.ohio-state.edu
Thu May 31 12:48:19 EDT 2012

Ohio State University
Department of Mathematics
May 30, 2012

(Chris Miller had just finished giving a beautiful speech from his  
interesting perspective, just before I took the floor).

I want to thank all of you for recognizing my incompetence - at least  
in practical matters. And so everybody was happy not to involve me in  
anything important around here. (no laughter)

You're supposed to laugh! (laughter)

Now many of you don't quite know what to expect in my speech.

And many of you are expecting some utterly shameless self promotion!


And that's exactly what you are going to get!! (laughter)

So what am I going to do now?

Major upgrade of my piano activities. Don't be surprised to see me  
playing solo at upscale restaurants and bars, weddings, parties, and  
old age homes. Also recordings, and on YouTube videos.

I've got to make videos since I have pushed the word around that I can  
make flawless recordings without playing, through pure electronics.  
I've even fooled professional pianists with that method!

There will be very usable deeply interactive software used in teaching  
how to write simple proofs. This is impossible to teach most students  
from science and engineering under normal teaching methods.

This will be extensively used for gifted high school students, and  
typical science and engineering majors. This will result in a great  
increase in the awareness and respect for pure mathematics and its  
special status among all subjects.

There will be an explosion of powerful algorithms that can be used to  
automatically or interactively verify computer code, facilitating the  
development of demonstrably bug free software.

As confirmed by ongoing interactions with very distinguished visitors  
to the Math Dept, we now have completely natural discrete and finite  
statements in standard mathematical contexts which can only be proved  
using far more than the usual axioms for mathematics.

This phenomenon will be refined and extended throughout the whole of  
mathematics, touching everyone at this gathering.

This will usher in a new era of critical reconsideration of the very  
meaning of mathematics and its objectivity or certainty. This will  
involve an entirely new level of interaction between core  
mathematicians and the philosophical community.

I wamt to thank you all for being here!

Harvey Friedman

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