Factoring Unfactorable Polynomials

Start: 11/18/2015 - 4:15pm
End  : 11/18/2015 - 5:15pm


David Eisenbud (UC Berkeley)


Everyone learns in elementary algebra to factor the polynomial x^2-y^2 as (x+y)(x-y), but one must enlarge the real numbers to the complex numbers in order to factor x^2+y^2. However, x^2-y^3 can’t be factored as a product of polynomials, even over the complex numbers. I’ll explain a fruitful way of enlarging the universe of discourse to include factorizations of such unfactorable polynomials, and some of its applications. The area is rich with open problems that are easily understood.

Argue Auditorium, Millikan, Pomona College

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