Enrico Bombieri

Institute for Advanced Study

October 29, 2010

In this lecture, Enrico Bombieri, IBM von Neumann Professor in the School of

Mathematics, attempts to give an idea of the numerous different notions of truth in mathematics. Using accessible examples, he explains the difference between truth, proof, and verification. Bombieri, one of the world’s leading authorities on number theory and analysis, was awarded the Fields Medal in 1974 for his work on the large sieve and its application to the distribution of prime numbers. Some of his work has potential practical applications to cryptography and security of data transmission and identification.