In this video we aim to give a precise and simpler definition for what it means to say that: a rational polynumber on-sequence p(n) has a limit A, for some rational number A. Our definition is both much simpler and more logical than the usual epsilon -delta definition found in calculus texts. What is required is that we need to find two natural numbers: k called the scale, and m called the start that allow us to bound in a pretty simple way the difference between p(n) and A. The epsilon-delta definition of a limit is usually considered a high point of logical rigour. Not so. It is also considered too logically involving to be taken seriously as a pedagogical pillar for most undergrads. Hence students may be told about the definition, but are not required to seriously understand it, or be able to use it--unless they are prospective maths majors. There is a subtle ambiguity in the definition: given an epsilon we are supposed to demonstrate there is a delta (with certain properties) but how are we to do this, since an potential infinity of epsilons are involved? In practice what is required is a correspondence (function/relation etc) between epsilon and delta but the nature of this required correspondence is not clear. We return to our familiar conundrum of using the work``function'' without a proper definition of it.The key point that makes our simpler more intuitive notion of limit of a sequence work is that we are dealing with very particular and clearly defined on-sequences: those generated by a rationl polynumber. A good example of the benefits of being careful rather than casual when dealing with the foundations of analysis!
Does mathematics make logical sense? No, it does not. Foundational issues have been finessed by modern mathematicians, and this series aims to turn things around. And it will have interesting things to say also about mathematics education---especially at the primary and high school level. The plan is to start right from the beginning, and to define all the really important concepts of basic mathematics without any waffling or appeals to authority. Roughly we discuss first arithmetic, then geometry, then algebra, then analysis, then set theory. This course is aimed for a general audience, interested in mathematics, or willing to learn.