Graduate Seminar: “Elementary Proofs in Number Theory”

Date: 
Friday, September 9, 2016 - 4:00pm
Location: 
111 MSB
Speaker: 
Nicholas Cox-Steib (Univ of Missouri)

Abstract:   “Many of the basic facts about the integers have been known for a long time and, over the years, clever mathematicians have discovered some truly ingenious ways to prove them.   Euclid’s proof that the collection of primes is not finite is well known – in this talk, I will discuss some zestfully creative demonstrations of Euclid’s result.  I will also discuss a brilliant, recent, proof of Fermat’s famous characterization of integers that can be written as the sum of two squares.  None of these arguments involve mathematical machinery beyond simple algebra - prerequisites are the ability to count to 3 and a keen understanding of the difference between even and odd numbers.”

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