Summary: The Tower of Hanoi

Check out the first post from my friend Thomas Colclough, in which he talks about very large but finite numbers and a group of priests trying to destroy the world.

Exercise for the reader

I first read Hugh Woodin’s Tower of Hanoi years ago early in my undergraduate. I remember getting bogged down by the math, and finding it more difficult to keep hold of the main thread as I got further into the paper. A few years later, I read the paper again upon starting grad school, and was pleasantly surprised to find it an easier read. No longer slowed down by technical obscurities, ideas that remained concealed before now seemed clearer, and the paper was much more enjoyable as a result. One of my reasons for starting this blog was to condense those years into a single exercise — to try and elicit the key ideas in papers involving technically challenging or dense mathematical material, where (I think) often those technical details can overshadow what is really being said. The Tower of Hanoi, then, seemed like a natural place to start. 


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