1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Duke mathematician to present Mathematics Department Women Lecture on Feb. 11

K-State Today

February 10, 2021

Duke mathematician to present Mathematics Department Women Lecture on Feb. 11

Submitted by Mathematics Department

The Department of Mathematics has invited Lillian Pierce, Nicholas J. and Theresa M. Leonardy professor of mathematics at Duke University, to present the 32nd Isidore and Hilda Dressler Lecture as part of the Mathematics Department Women Lecture Series. The series celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Pierce will present "Counting Problems: Open Questions in Number Theory, From the Perspective of Moments" at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, via YouTube Live. 

The abstract for the lecture: Many questions in number theory can be phrased as counting problems. How many number fields are there? How many elliptic curves are there? How many integral solutions to this system of Diophantine equations are there? If the answer is "infinitely many," we want to understand the order of growth for the number of objects we are counting in the "family." But in many settings, we are also interested in finer-grained questions like how many number fields are there, with fixed degree and fixed discriminant? We know the answer is "finitely many," but it would have important consequences if we could show the answer is always "very few indeed." In this accessible talk, we will describe a way that these finer-grained questions can be related to the bigger infinite-family questions. Then we will use this perspective to survey interconnections between several big open conjectures in number theory, related in particular to class groups and number fields.

The math department is a part of K-State's College of Arts and Sciences. To learn more about opportunities in math at K-State, visit the math department website.

Contact: Reta McDermott, reta@math.ksu.edu, 785-532-0559