Arithmetic Statistics (How to Count Really Well)

Ross Paterson

Friday 24th January 14:00-15:00 Maths 311B

Abstract

Counting is an ancient art, with evidence suggesting that we may have been at it for at least 50,000 years.  With all of this practice we would hope that humanity has mastered this cherished craft, perhaps even to the extent that there is no counting left to do. Fortunately, this is far from the case, and counting is still considered challenging enough that one might pursue a PhD in counting at the University of Glasgow. I will survey some of the more modern art: from a result of Dirichlet in 1837 to one of Poonen and Stoll from 1999. This talk may include some algebra, but sometimes you need to eat your vegetables before you can have dessert.

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