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Mathematics Colloquium

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Linde Hall 310
Creating Clarity from Confusion: Three Lessons from Number Theory
Ellen Eischen, Department of Mathematics, University of Oregon,

Regardless of your research area or career stage, you almost certainly have stories about "mistakes" or "failures" in your research. This colloquium talk will introduce three crucial developments in number theory, alongside some of the mistakes, false starts, and otherwise suboptimal approaches that led to them. These three strands--one from each of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries--eventually merged spectacularly to enable progress in the 21st century, including in the speaker's work. Intertwined with these specific mathematical triumphs are valuable lessons about grappling with -- and sometimes adding to -- confusion while trying to solve hard problems. The focus of this talk will be on progression of key ideas, rather than on technical details. Graduate students and faculty from all areas of math are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact Math Department by phone at 626-395-4335 or by email at [email protected].