Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In maths, you can use something as simple as statistical analysis to intuit the theory, and in comp-science you can use simulators.

Is the above statement true for maths ?

share|cite|improve this question
It's hard to say if it's true as it doesn't mean anything to me. – Ryan Budney Nov 6 '10 at 5:52
Well, there is such a thing as experimental mathematics... – J. M. Nov 6 '10 at 8:30
Your title is very weird... there is nothing above it. – Mariano Suárez-Alvarez Nov 6 '10 at 15:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If I'm understanding the question correctly, I suppose the OP is aiming to posit that in mathematics we verify a mathematical truth in nature by experimentation and statistical data analysis versus how we verify a computational truth by seeing it in practice through simulations.

Not to be overly pedantic, but to me a mathematical or computational result is true when it is the conclusion of a rigorous application of sound thought through a sequence of logical steps from an initial set of assumptions within a particular (logical) framework. I see no distinction between mathematical or computational truths.

In practice, however, when we try to apply mathematical or computational rules to nature, the results aren't always so easy to interpret, because truth isn't well-defined. This is why statistics is so applicable -- it gives us a way to quantify the grey area. Through simulations we can test ideas in an ideal setting, so the grey area is as big as we allow it to be.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.