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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Gregory Chaitin
Gregory Chaitin

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Physics & Computer Science

Mathematician and philosopher Gregory Chaitin speaks at Laurier Sept 22, 4 p.m.

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Sep 22/09

How real are real numbers? 

Laurier welcomes Gregory J. Chaitin, a renowned mathematician and philosopher who discovered the Omega number 30 years ago, to explore the mathematical and physical arguments involved in answering this question. 

Chaitin’s lecture, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. in the Paul Martin Centre, is part of the “Greg Chaitin in Ontario” six-part lecture tour, which sees Chaitin at the Fields Institute (Toronto), The Perimeter Institute, the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Quantum Computing. 

“The Laurier community has a rare opportunity to meet one of the great thinkers of our time, whose work is of profound interest in a number of different disciplines,” says Ilias Kotsireas, associate professor, physics and computer science and general co-ordinator of the Chaitin-in-Ontario event. “Chaitin has continued the deep work of Goedel and Turing on the foundations of mathematics using complexity and randomness concepts that can be traced back to Leibniz in 1686."

Chaitin conducts research at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. His work on algorithmic information has focused on randomness, on the limits of formal axiomatic reasoning, and, more recently, on metabiology. His latest books include Meta Math! and Thinking about Godel and Turing, a collection of essays.

Chaitin’s Laurier lecture will discuss mathematical and physical arguments against continuity and in favor of discreteness, with particular emphasis on the ideas of Emile Borel (1871-1956).

The lecture is part of the Laurier Seminar Series in Computational Science and Applied & Statistical Modelling (CSASM) To view the “Greg Chaitin in Ontario” lecture tour poster, please visit

For more information about Chaitin, see his website at


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