Questions tagged [set-theory]

For questions about set theory topics typically studied at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level. These include cofinality, axioms of ZFC, axiom of choice, forcing, set-theoretic independence, large cardinals, models of set theory, ultrafilters, ultrapowers, constructible universe, inner model theory, definability, infinite combinatorics, transfinite hierarchies, etc.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
29 votes
13 answers

What do you say to students who want to apply Banach-Tarski theorem in practice?

Once when I was talking about Banach-Traski theorem (paradox) I said: OK! This is Banach-Tarski's theorem which is against our intuition but provable from our intuitive axioms! It says you can ...
user avatar
25 votes
16 answers

How to motivate equivalence classes

Equivalence classs are very useful in mathematics, but many of the applications require further background, like quotient spaces in topology or quotient groups in algebra. One good example is residue ...
Brian Rushton's user avatar
19 votes
11 answers

How can I familiarize elementary school students with infinities larger than $\aleph_0$?

Cantor's discovery of the existence of more than one infinity was a revolutionary change in human knowledge. He defined the notion of counting by bijections and showed that one can use infinities as ...
user avatar
19 votes
6 answers

What is a number?

In a set theoretic point of view all mathematical objects are sets. We "call" some of them as numbers (e.g. sets in $\mathbb{N}$, $\mathbb{Q}$, $\mathbb{R}$, $\mathbb{C}$, $Ord$, $Card$) but what is ...
user avatar
14 votes
8 answers

Fun set theory for kids

Are there some fun results in set theory to set as landmarks while introducing to kids? For example, while introducing graph theory to kids, I could explain isomorphism via a pentagon and pentagram, ...
athos's user avatar
  • 665
14 votes
8 answers

Cognitive traps in very early set theory

As of last year, I began teaching a course in theoretical computer science, and one of the topics that we cover is sets. In particular, we go over: the actions $\cup$, $\cap$, and $-$, ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 351
12 votes
2 answers

What to teach in Set Theory & Logic Course

I will be teaching a third-year introductory course on Set Theory and Logic soon and was hoping to get advice from this community. I would rate my students' proof abilities as weak and was hoping to ...
vrbatim's user avatar
  • 221
9 votes
4 answers

Why is set theory not taught at the outset of math education?

A beginner in math, reading Badiou, I found the following quote on set theory in Being and Event: The axiomatization consists in fixing the usage of the relation of belonging, $\in$, to which the ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers

What caused the (relatively) recent popularity of set theory?

When I was growing up during the 1960s, "set builder notation" constituted a large part of what was then the "new math." Question: When and why did "set theory" become popular in math education? ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 1,508
7 votes
3 answers

Can this be a better way of defining subsets?

I remember my high school days where subsets were defined in the following manner: Given two sets A and B, if every element of B is an element of A, then B is called a subset of A. A common ...
Harshit Rajput's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Cartesian product set

I'm preparing a task on the Cartesian product of two sets and I have run into the following confusion: I understand that the Cartesian product is not a commutative operation. Generally speaking, AxB ...
BEW's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
7 answers

Category mistakes regarding symbols and their impact on math (mis) understanding. ( Object symbol/ sentence symbol confusion)

A friend of mine that teaches math has made many times the following experiment : drawing two circles on the blackboard representing two sets A and B such that A and B are disjoint writing on the ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

On using different notations for the same objects

Historically, in set theory we use two different notations to refer set theoretically same objects $\aleph_{\alpha}$ and $\omega_{\alpha}$. The folklore justification of this dual notation is that we ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

Examples of cultural limitations on math education

Based on Maggie Koerth-Baker's article, "What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory?", it seems there are some parts of culture which put some restrictions on math education. ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers

Determining sets to show sufficiency of a condition?

$p \to q$ that means (among others) $p$ is a sufficient condition for $q$. To show the sufficiency, I teach my study by determining the set for $p$, the set for $q$ first and comparing their ...
Second Person Shooter's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Mnemonics to correlate the definition of "asymmetric relation" and "antisymmetric relation" with the terms [closed]

The definitions from Kenneth Rosen textbook are as : A relation $R$ on a set $A$ such that for all $a,b ∈ A$ ,if $(a,b) ∈ R$ and $(b,a) ∈ R$,then $a=b$ is called antisymmetric. A relation $R$ on a ...
Abhishek Ghosh's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers

Workbooks for advanced high school math topics

I'm looking for advanced workbooks and exercises for working in class (math high school/undergraduate level) covering the following topics (or some of them): Logic and sets (propositional calculus, ...
paus's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer

When self teaching, should I learn set theory before continuing ap calculus?

I am studying ap calculus now, before I move onto differential equations etc., but the thing I am unsure of is, should I learn set theory before continuing on my ap calculus sections?
Pauline's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
5 answers

What is an example of something you might see outside of math class and how would you model that thing as a set?

In mathematics, we have sets, such as $\begin{Bmatrix}1, 2, 3 \end{Bmatrix}$ or the real-numbers, usually denoted as $\mathbb{R}$. When teaching students about sets for the first time, it can ...
Samuel Muldoon's user avatar
-1 votes
5 answers

Is it considered a mistake to use different correct notation for writing intervals?

Standard definition of writing interval states that it should be written (a,b) where a<b Due to this being arbitrary and just a convention that we all use, would it be considered a mistake to write ...
nuF sI htaM's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer

Where can I find the partial order relation of prerequisites of undergraduate courses in the United States?

Let $A$ be the set of all undergraduate mathematical courses in the US and define a binary relation $\leq$ on $A$ such that for elements $a,b\in A$ (that is, $a$, $b$ are undergraduate mathematical ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 4,119
-2 votes
1 answer

What is the best way of introducing set theory? [closed]

The students are aware of mathematical logic and proof but have not come across any of the notions of a set. What is the most natural and motivating way to introduce set theory?
matqkks's user avatar
  • 1,235
-3 votes
3 answers

How can I convince my brightest student of Cantor's theory?

At the end of the mathematical high-school education I usually introduce the easiest facts of set theory: counbtability and Cantor's proof as the basis of modern mathematics. Now my brightest student ...
user avatar