Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen was born on April 2, 1934, in Long Branch, New Jersey as the youngest of four children.
His parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland. It was recognized from an early age that he was gifted in
mathematics, and as a teenager he became known as a mathematical prodigy for his impressive displays in math
competitions. At age sixteen he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York, which was known for its
math and science programs, and he went on to study at Brooklyn College. He studied for three years, but left
before he received his degree to begin graduate studies at the University of Chicago. His focus was number
theory and in 1954 he received his Masters.
Cohen’s work relates directly to what we’ve learned in class. As we learned in class, Cantor proved via
the diagonal argument that the cardinality of
Z
is strictly less than
R
. His proof does not indicate, however, how
much smaller the cardinality of
Z
is in comparison to
R
. The continuum hypothesis (CH) states that “There is
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 Spring '11
 Vick
 Math, Axiom of choice, Continuum hypothesis, Paul Cohen, Paul Cohen Paul Cohen, Cohen Paul Cohen

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