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Countable ordinals and fast-growing functions (Part 3)

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sam Staton.

Note earlier start time

As part of the three day meeting on Countable ordinals and fast growing functions I will teach

A short introduction to Ordinal Notations.

I will take a pseudo-historical approach covering

  • Cantor—the problem that led him to discover (invent) ordinals
  • Hardy —his attempt to index the continuum using ordinals
  • Veblen—how he produced hierarchies that named larger and larger ordinals

That takes us up to 1908, when Veblen was writing. We now jump to the 1950s with

  • Bachmann and Schüutte —a brief look at what they did
  • Modern methods —if there is time.

I am writing a companion set of notes that will probably cover more than can be done in the talks. A draft of these can be found at

as the notes


These will change as I get them in better shape.

In due course I will also provide links to other relevant material.

Harold Simmons

This talk is part of the Mini Courses in Theoretical Computer Science series.

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