Laurence Kirby Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Baruch College of the City University of New York
Plimpton 322: The Ancient Roots of Modern Mathematics ... a 33-minute video documentary

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             Released 6 December 2011
About the movie: With New York City as backdrop, Laurence Kirby takes viewers on a tour of our mathematical debt to ancient cultures in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. We witness their ideas still playing crucial roles in our society and 21st-century technology. At the center of the film is a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet known as Plimpton 322, which was excavated in Iraq around 1920 and now has its home in New York.

A Hydra With Jeff Paris, I invented THE HYDRA GAME in 1982. Thanks to Andrej Bauer, you can now play the Hydra game online. (Click on "Try the game online" near the bottom of the page.)
CUNY Math Blog: South Indian Cuisine with Professor Laurence Kirby
Two views of the beginning of the process of generating all finite sets:

Building up the finite sets The first 33 sets, adductive form
 Click here for another, higher resolution picture...        Click here for a related animation (size 250K)
For more information, see my article A hierarchy of hereditarily finite sets (2008)

Click on the image at right for a mathematical puzzle-poem. Only 5 people have ever solved it. Be the 6th person to send me the solution!

Tree: a mathematical puzzle-poemTree
 

A few articles:
Digraph parameters and finite set arithmetic (2015)
Ordinal operations on graph representations of sets (2013)
Substandard models of finite set theory (2010)
Addition and multiplication of sets (2007)
 Steps towards a logic of natural objects (2002)
On Goodstein sequences and hydras: Accessible Independence Results for Peano Arithmetic (with Jeff Paris, 1982)

I received a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. from Manchester University in 1977. After spells in Paris and Princeton, I taught at Baruch College as a professor from 1982 to 2018.
My research area is Mathematical Logic, and the philosophical background to my research lurks in the questions:
What is the relationship between language and reality?
(assuming there is such a thing as reality)
and: What is the nature of the boundary between the finite and the infinite?
(assuming there is such a thing as the infinite)
I explore the same general questions in poetry, writing, song and music,
in the person of my alter ego, T. G. Vanini .

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