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Discrete Thoughts

  • Mark Kac
  • Gian-Carlo Rota
  • Jacob T. Schwartz
Part of the Modern Birkhäuser Classics book series

Abstract

Of some fields it is difficult to tell whether they are sound or phony. Perhaps they are both. Perhaps the decision depends on the circumstances, and it changes with time. At any rate, it is not an objective fact like “the moon is made of green cheese.” Some subjects start out with impeccable credentials, catastrophe theory for instance, and then turn out to resemble a three-dollar bill. Others, like dynamic programming, have to overcome a questionable background before they are reluctantly recognized to be substantial and useful. It is a tough world, even for the judgement-pronouncers.

Keywords

Dynamic Programming Real Contact Objective Fact Wishful Thinking Catastrophe Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Kac
  • Gian-Carlo Rota
    • 1
  • Jacob T. Schwartz
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Mathematics and PhilosophyMITCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Courant InstituteNew YorkUSA

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