Lean community

Lean and its Mathematical Library #

The Lean theorem prover is a proof assistant developed principally by Leonardo de Moura.

The community recently switched from using Lean 3 to using Lean 4. This website is still being updated, and some pages have outdated information about Lean 3 (these pages are marked with a prominent banner). The old Lean 3 community website has been archived.

The Lean mathematical library, mathlib, is a community-driven effort to build a unified library of mathematics formalized in the Lean proof assistant. The library also contains definitions useful for programming. This project is very active, with many regular contributors and daily activity.

You can get a bird's-eye view of what is in the mathlib library by reading the library overview, and read about recent additions on our blog. The design and community organization of mathlib are described in the 2020 article The Lean mathematical library, although the library has grown by an order of magnitude since that article appeared. You can also have a look at our repository statistics to see how the library grows and who contributes to it.

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You can try Lean in your web browser, install it in an isolated folder, or go for the full install. Lean is free, open source software. It works on Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

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You can learn by playing a game, following tutorials, or reading books.

Meet the community!

Lean has very diverse and active community. It gathers mostly on a Zulip chat and on GitHub. You can get involved and join the fun!

What is a proof assistant? #

A proof assistant is a piece of software that provides a language for defining objects, specifying properties of these objects, and proving that these specifications hold. The system checks that these proofs are correct down to their logical foundation.

These tools are often used to verify the correctness of programs. But they can also be used for abstract mathematics, which is something of interest to the mathlib community. In a formalization, all definitions are precisely specified and all proofs are virtually guaranteed to be correct.

Formalized with Lean and mathlib

The cap-set problem
by Dahmen, Hölzl and Lewis

In 2016, Ellenberg and Gijswijt established a new upper bound on the size of subsets of $đť”˝^n_q$ with no three-term arithmetic progression. This problem has received much mathematical attention, particularly in the case $q = 3$, where it is commonly known as the cap set problem. Ellenberg and Gijswijt's proof was published in the Annals of Mathematics and is noteworthy for its clever use of elementary methods.

Perfectoid spaces
by Buzzard, Commelin and Massot

Perfectoid spaces are sophisticated objects in arithmetic geometry introduced by Peter Scholze in 2012. We formalised enough definitions and theorems in topology, algebra and geometry to define perfectoid spaces in the Lean theorem prover. This experiment confirms that a proof assistant can handle complexity in that direction, which is rather different from formalising a long proof about simple objects.

Independence of the continuum hypothesis
by Han and van Doorn

The continuum hypothesis states that there is no cardinality between the smallest infinite cardinal and the cardinality of the continuum. It was posed by Cantor in 1878 and was the first problem on Hilbert’s list of twenty- three unsolved problems in mathematics. Gödel and Cohen proved this is independent, i.e. neither provable nor disprovable, from ZFC.

Data Types as Quotients of Polynomial Functors
by Avigad, Carneiro and Hudon

A broad class of data types, including arbitrary nestings of inductive types, coinductive types, and quotients, can be represented as quotients of polynomial functors. This provides perspicuous ways of constructing them and reasoning about them in an interactive theorem prover.

Liquid Tensor Experiment
by Commelin, Topaz et al

Liquid vector spaces are crucial objects in Clausen and Scholze’s condensed mathematics framework blending number theory and functional analysis. The main theorem about them guarantees they have suitable properties to achieve that goal.

The sphere eversion
by Massot, Nash, van Doorn

Smale’s famous sphere eversion theorem ensures you can turn a sphere inside out in Euclidean 3-space. It is an instance of a much more general flexibility result due to Gromov. Its formalization shows that proof assistants are not limited to algebraic parts of mathematics and can handle differential topology.

Fermat’s last theorem for regular primes
by Best, Birkbeck, Brasca, Rodriguez, van de Velde, Yang

Altough this is far from the general case of Fermat’s last theorem, the case of regular prime exponents is a nice test case for the foundations of algebraic number theory.

Polynomial Freiman-Ruzsa conjecture
by Tao et al

This is a famous conjecture in additive combinatorics whose solution was announced in November 2023 and formalized in three weeks thanks to a large collaborative project.

Cedar specification
by Emina Torlak et al

Cedar is a language for defining permissions as policies, which describe who should have access to what. It is also a specification for evaluating those policies. The specification has been formalized and the implementation in Lean is used to check the Rust implementation by comparison.

Cairo verification
by Avigad

Cairo is a blockchain-based programming language. Various components of the language and its library have been formalized.

You can find many more in the list of papers and list of projects.