Dr. Benson Farb
University of Chicago
University of Georgia, Department of Mathematics

22nd Annual Cantrell Lecture Series

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016
3:30-4:30pm, Miller Learning Center, Room 171

Title of talk: Through the looking glass: Symmetry, the fourth dimension, and beyond 
Description: Why are our mirror images reflected left-right but not up-down? What does the fourth dimension look like? How is it possible that a square box can be big enough to hold only one round marble of a given size, but the marble only takes up a trillionth of the space in the box? This talk will explore these questions and, perhaps more surprisingly, explain how they have a profound influence on our everyday life.  

This intended audience for this talk is: anyone.

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016
3:30-4:30pm, Boyd, Room 328

Title of talk: The space of polynomials: from 1540 to today

Abstract: In this talk I will explain a remarkable circle of ideas surrounding the most basic and classical of mathematical objects: polynomials and their roots.   I will emphasize the fascinating connections between different ideas and objects, from spaces of configurations of points in the plane to the unsolvability of the quintic to Hilbert's 13th problem to complexity theory to braid groups, and more.  Most of this talk should be understandable to undergraduate math majors.


THURSDAY, April 7, 2016
3:30-4:30pm, Boyd Room 328

Title of talk: Predicting topology with arithmetic

Abstract: Andre Weil discovered an amazing analogy between arithmetic and topology.  In this talk I will explain how Jesse Wolfson, Melanie Matchett Wood and I have used this analogy to predict a new kind of homological stability phenomenon in topology.   One of the most exciting things to me is that these predictions are turning out to be true, but we cannot explain why.  

One goal of this talk will be to convince the audience that the following question is not completely crazy: Let Z denote the Riemann zeta function.  How is 1/Z(n) the arithmetic analog of the 2-fold loop-space of (n-1)-dimensional complex projective space?  

I hope to make this talk accessible to anyone who knows what homology is.

Refreshments will be served preceding each lecture.
There will be a banquet honoring Prof. Farb, the evening of April 6, 2016.  Seating is limited, pre-registration is required by March 31, 2016.  Please print the banquet registration form here and return with payment to Julie McEver or Gail Suggs.
Please contact Julie McEver, juleigh@uga.edu

Date and time: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 3:30pm to Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 4:30pm