Most mathematicians consider set theory to be the foundation of mathematics, because everything that is studied in mathematics can be defined in terms of the concepts of set theory, and all the theorems of mathematics can be proven from the axioms of set theory. This course will begin with the axiomatization of set theory that was developed by Ernst Zermelo and Abraham Fraenkel in the early part of the twentieth century. We will then see how all of the number systems used in mathematics are defined in set theory, and how the fundamental properties of these number systems can be proven from the Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms. Other topics will include the axiom of choice, infinite cardinal and ordinal numbers, and models of set theory. Four class hours per week.

Requisite: MATH 220, 271, 272, or 355, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Velleman.