Visual thinking and simplicity of proof

  title={Visual thinking and simplicity of proof},
  author={Alan J. Cain},
  journal={Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A},
  • Alan J. Cain
  • Published 28 February 2018
  • Mathematics, Medicine, Computer Science
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
This paper studies how spatial thinking interacts with simplicity in [informal] proof, by analysing a set of example proofs mainly concerned with Ferrers diagrams (visual representations of partitions of integers) and comparing them to proofs that do not use spatial thinking. The analysis shows that using diagrams and spatial thinking can contribute to simplicity by (for example) avoiding technical calculations, division into cases, and induction, and creating a more surveyable and explanatory… Expand
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