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Which Real Numbers are Pleasant?

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Every well-educated fresher has already been indoctrinated with the right answer to this question: reals are either algebraic or transcendental. Algebraic numbers are obviously fantastic. By contrast, the transcendental numbers are utterly hideous and deserve no attention whatsoever, with the two exceptions of pi and e (bless their little cotton socks). Contrary to this received opinion, I’ll explain why it should be a major goal of 21st-century mathematics to reclaim more of the reals for explicit use by mathematicians, and I’ll tell you about some difficult problems that need to be solved along the way.

This talk is part of the Trinity Mathematical Society series.

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