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International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS)

15 South College St

Edinburgh

EH8 9AA

United Kingdom

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A public lecture for curious people of any age by
Benson Farb, University of Chicago

Whether you like it or not, polynomials run your life : almost every equation that describes the world is either a polynomial or is well-approximated by a polynomial. In 2500 years of studying polynomials, we've learned a lot, but polynomials still have mysteries to reveal. Mathematicians are now understanding solutions to polynomial equations in a vastly more profound way than has been done in the past. They are doing this by relating polynomials to configuration spaces (e.g. of satellites orbiting the Earth, or of robots on a factory floor), to braids, to hyperplanes, and more. Most remarkably, these seemingly disparate topics are all part of one beautiful, profound, intertwined picture.

Doors open at 17:45. The talk will be followed by an informal reception to which all ticket holders are invited.

PLEASE NOTE THE SLIGHTLY LATER THAN NORMAL STARTING TIME

[Image information: braid diagrams of a Brunnian Link from the Blackboard Shirt in the Mathematician's Shirts installation by Julia Collins and Madeleine Shepherd. The patch is made from a photograph on the What's on my blackboard blog.]

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International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS)

15 South College St

Edinburgh

EH8 9AA

United Kingdom

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