 
Summary: 11
Computers in Mathematical
Inquiry
JEREMY AVIGAD
11.1 Introduction
Computers are playing an increasingly central role in mathematical practice.
What are we to make of the new methods of inquiry?
In Section 11.2, I survey some of the ways in which computers are used
in mathematics. These raise questions that seem to have a generally epis
temological character, although they do not fall squarely under a traditional
philosophical purview. The goal of this article is to try to articulate some
of these questions more clearly, and assess the philosophical methods that
may be brought to bear. In Section 11.3, I note that most of the issues can
be classified under two headings: some deal with the ability of computers
to deliver appropriate `evidence' for mathematical assertions, a notion that is
explored in Section 11.4, while others deal with the ability of computers to
deliver appropriate mathematical `understanding', a notion that is considered
in Section 11.5. Final thoughts are provided in Section 11.6.
11.2 Uses of computers in mathematics
Computers have had a dramatic influence on almost every arena of scientific
