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Mathematical Sciences

Visual Gems of Number Theory

Date: 3:30pm - 4:30pm PDT September 25, 2013 Location: John Howard 132

John Howard 132

Number theory—a branch of mathematics devoted to the study of the integers—dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks. A course in number theory is often a part of an undergraduate mathematics major.

While preparing this talk, I looked through several number theory texts. I was struck by how few illustrations most of them have. An integer can represent many things—the cardinality of a set, the length of a line segment, the area of a region, the volume of a solid, etc. So the texts should have more pictures. In this talk I’ll try to remedy that, and present some of my favorite pictures for use in studying number theory, what I call visual gems of number theory.

No prior experience with number theory is required.


Professor Nelsen has written several books that feature ways to illustrate mathematical concepts with pictures. See his website.