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Undecidability in number theory


Speaker: Bjorn Poonen, University of California, Berkeley
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Tue, May 15 2007, 4:10PM

The work of Martin Davis, Hilary Putnam, and Julia Robinson in 1961 completed by Yuri Matijasevic in 1970 proved that there is no general algorithm to decide whether a multivariable polynomial equation with integer coefficients has a solution in integers. It is still not known whether an algorithm exists for the analogous problem for rational numbers. I will describe progress on this and related problems.

Refreshments will start at 3:45 in MSB 1147. Dinner will follow the Colloquium.