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Quartic Curves and their Bitangents


Speaker: Bernd Sturmfels
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Dec 1 2010, 4:10PM

A smooth quartic curve in the projective plane has 36 representations as a symmetric determinant of linear forms and 63 representations as a sum of three squares. We report on joint work with Daniel Plaumann and Cynthia Vinzant regarding the explicit computation of these objects. This lecture offers a gentle introduction to the 19th century theory of plane quartics from the current perspective of convex algebraic geometry.