Friday and Saturday, April 11-12 2008, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio
Conference Registration: 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 11, Third Floor Gallery, McDonough Auditorium
Download the Conference Program (PDF). (Schedule subject to change.)
Friday, April 11
1:45 p.m. Insights from Archimedes, Bill Higgins, Wittenberg University
Archimedes of Syracuse is sometimes referred to as the most important scientist who ever lived. Both the mathematics of infinity and the application of mathematical models to the physical world are principles developed by Archimedes that went on to influence the course of modern science.
We will look at some of Archimedes’ results and discuss how his works have been passed down to us from his time – more than 2,200 years ago. Scholars are, in fact, currently gaining new insight into Archimedes’ work by using modern imaging technology to analyze a recently rediscovered manuscript, called the Archimedes Codex palimpsest, which contains the faint image of a tenth century copy of Archimedes’ work behind the script of a thirteenth-century monk’s prayer book.
3:15 p.m. Infinity Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Lew Lefton, Georgia Institute of Technology
In addition to being a mathematician, Dr. Lefton has worked as a standup and improv comedian. Of course, this means that he's funny, and he can prove it! This talk will be a stand up comedy set consisting of original material based on Lefton's experiences as a graduate student, professional mathematician, and college professor.
WARNING: This presentation will include certain portions of Lefton's material that are only suitable for mathematically mature audiences! Come and steal his jokes for use in your classrooms!
8:10 p.m. The Covering Congruences of Paul Erdos, Carl Pomerance, Dartmouth College
Can the integers be expressed as the union of finitely many residue classes to different large moduli? This deceptively simple question was raised by Paul Erdos over 50 years ago and it is still unsolved. Erdos wrote of this as his ``favorite problem," which is saying something given the enormous number of great problems due to him.
In this talk I will discuss the origins of the problem and its connections to some other famous unsolved problems, as well as some very recent numerical and theoretical progress.
Saturday, April 12
8:55 a.m. Euler's Function, Carl Pomerance, Dartmouth College
A familiar concept in elementary number theory and algebra, Euler's function at n is the number of integers from 1 to n that are relatively prime to n. It is not only crucial to the RSA cryptosystem, Euler's function is a surprisingly rich source of interesting problems, some of them still unsolved.
For example, is it always at least 2 to 1 as a mapping from the natural numbers to themselves? What is the computational complexity of computing Euler's function? Is there an asymptotic formula for the distribution of its range within the natural numbers? These, and many more problems and results will be discussed.
11:50 a.m. Distributed Computing and the Internet, Lew Lefton, Georgia Institute of Technology
In this talk we will take a look at different ways that mathematics is done using computers. We will discuss some large scale distributed computing projects like GIMPS (Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search), as well as other mathematical computing efforts, including some pure and applied mathematical computations on which the speaker is currently working.