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Paolo Aluffi


Speaker: Paolo Aluffi
Title: Euler Meets Grothendieck: Graph Theory and Motives
Affiliation: Florida State University
Date: Friday, September 14, 2012
Place and Time: Room 101, Love Building, 4:00-4:50 pm
Refreshments: Room 204, Love Building, 3:30 pm

Abstract. There have been recent contacts between modern algebraic geometry and ancient branches of combinatorial topology, motivated by diverse problems ranging from number theory to quantum field theory to tomography. We will meet some of the characters of this story, following a thread connecting some startling numerical evidence obtained from physics to a conjecture of Kontsevich, verified for thousands of examples but later disproved, and still motivating very beautiful results at the interface of algebraic geometry and number theory. We will also examine one simpler example of the connection between combinatorics and algebraic geometry, related to the problem of graph coloring.