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The Congruent Number Problem

by

Professor Jeffrey Hatley
Union College

January 11, 2016
5:00pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served in Bailey Hall 204 4:45pm


Abstract:

The Congruent Number Problem asks the following simple-sounding question: which rational numbers occur as the area of a right triangle with sides of rational length? For example, the familiar (3,4,5) right triangle has area 6, so 6 is a congruent number; but Fermat showed in the year 1640 that 1 is not a congruent number. Our investigation of this question will lead to a surprising and beautiful interaction between algebra and geometry, bringing us to the forefront of modern number theory and a math problem with a $1 Million prize.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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