Mathematics Colloquium

Friday, March 31

Time: 12:20 p.m. — 1:20 p.m.

Location: Science Center Room 301

Tags:  Arts and Sciences, Colloquia, Mathematics, Sciences

Cost:  Free

Speaker: Ananth Hariharan, I.I.T. Bombay

Host: Dr. Lynne Yengulalp

Title: Solvability by Radicals

Abstract: Given a quadratic equation, the quadratic formula tells us what the roots are in terms of the coefficients in the equation. The question we will explore in this talk is whether we have similar formulae for polynomials of higher degree. We will describe some of the attempts made by mathematicians over centuries to answer this question, and see a remarkable result of Abel, which states that such a formula is not possible for an arbitrary polynomial of degree 5.

How does one prove something cannot be done? We will see a possible approach to such problems, by using examples to focus on the idea behind Abel's proof.

The department colloquia are held every Thursday (excluding holidays) at 3:35 pm in room SC 323 unless otherwise noted. All are invited to attend. 

Contact Information:

Name:  Paul Eloe