Special Event

Title: From Set to the affine cap problem
Speaker: Jordan Ellenberg
Speaker Info: University of Wisconsin
Brief Description:
Special Note: annual undergraduate prize lecture and awards ceremony

The game of Set is a simple but addictive card game played with a special 81-card deck. A standard "folklore question" among players of this game is: what is the largest number of cards that can be on the table which do not allow a legal play? I'll explain how this question, which seems to be about cards, is actually about geometry over a finite field, and I'll talk about what's known about this problem and propose some related ones. If there's time, I'll try to convince you that this problem might have something to do with algebraic geometry, and if there's even more time, I'll try to convince you that, no, in fact, it really has to do with Fourier analysis, and say something about the most recent progress on the problem, due to a paper of Bateman and Katz from earlier this year.
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Time: 5:00 pm
Where: Annenberg G21
Contact Person: Mike Stein
Contact email:
Contact Phone: 1-5524
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