Public Lecture

Aaron Bertam (University of Utah) will present "Tropical Mathematics."

The public lecture will be taking place from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in the Reynolds Auditorium, Room 120.

Mathematics rests on the pair of operations (addition and multiplication) that gives us the arithmetic of numbers. Tropical mathematics replaces this with another pair of operations (maximum and addition) that also obey the basic laws of arithmetic. We can build polynomials in one and more variables based on this new arithmetic and explore the geometry (lines, conics, etc) that results. Although this geometry looks very odd, there are some uncanny similarities with "ordinary" geometry that have inspired quite a lot of mathematics research in the past few decades, including connections with theoretical physics and string theory. In this talk we will develop some "high school" tropical mathematics and try to give some explanation for why mathematicians are finding it so intriguing.

2017 SLS Public Lecture poster