Department of

Mathematics


Seminar Calendar
for events the day of Thursday, June 30, 2016.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

12:00 pm in 345 Altgeld Hall,Thursday, June 30, 2016

What does '>' really mean?

Bruce Reznick (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract: One of the favorite serious games of mathematicians is to take a familiar idea in a familiar situation, extract its essence, and try to apply it in a more general environment. This talk will be about moving the idea of ">" from the real numbers to any field. You can't always do it, but when you can, you discover the importance of writing objects as sums of squares. It can also happen that a field has more than one equally valid definition of ">" and an element x can be positive in one and negative in another.