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Volumes of polyhedra: familiar but hard-to-get numbers

Algebra & Discrete Mathematics

Speaker: Jesus de Loera, UC Davis
Location: 3106 MSB
Start time: Fri, Feb 29 2008, 2:10PM

The volumes of polyhedra, and its close relatives (mixed volumes, Ehrhart functions, etc.) are numbers that appear everywhere in mathematics as important invariants or quantities to be computed. So, how does one go about actually computing the volume of a polyhedron? In this (mostly) survey talk I will explain why volume computation is relevant in everyone's life (but hard!), what is currently know about efficient computation of the volume, and I end by describing recent new results in this area.