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Author: S.LAL
Created: 15 Jan, 2010; Last Modified: 05 Feb, 2010

Set Theory

Set theory deals with grouping objects together and viewing them as a single entity.

A set is a collection of things, such as of numbers (e.g.: 3, 4, 5), letters (e.g.: a, b, c, d), or objects such as utensils (e.g.: spoon, fork, knife). Set theory is that field of mathematics which deal with properties of sets, independent of the things which make up the sets.

A set is defined by properties which objects should possess – all those objects which meet the criteria form the set. Thus, considering all numbers, if the criteria is for the number to be prime, then all primes (2, 3, 5, 7, …) form the set.

Sets may be combined by certain operations to form other sets. Set theory is fundamental to the study of many areas of mathematics.

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Bibliography

Courant, R & Robbins, H, What is Mathematics? – An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods, 2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Lipschutz, L, Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Set Theory and Related Topics, 2nd edn, USA: McGraw Hill, 1998.
Nagel, R (ed), 'Set Theory,' U.X.L Encyclopedia of Science, 2nd edn, vol. 1-10, USA: The Gale Group, 2002.