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2012 Kemeny Lecture Series

Bernd Sturmfels

University of California

Tropical Mathematics

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Arvo J. Oopik 1978 Auditorium (Room 100)
Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center

Abstract: In tropical arithmetic, the sum of two numbers is their maximum and the product of two numbers is their usual sum. Many results familiar from algebra and geometry, including the Quadratic Formula, the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, and Bezout's Theorem, continue to hold in the tropical world. In this lecture we learn how to draw tropical curves and why evolutionary biologists might care about this.

NB: A PDF version of this announcement (suitable for posting) is also available.

Convex Algebraic Geometry

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


008 Kemeny Hall

Abstract: This lecture concerns convex bodies with an interesting algebraic structure. A primary focus lies on the geometry of semideite optimization. Starting with elementary questions about ellipses in the plane, we move on to discuss the geometry of spectrahedra, orbitopes, and convex hulls of real varieties.

The Central Curve in Linear Programming

Colloquium talk

Thursday, May 3, 2012


007 Kemeny Hall

Abstract: The central curve of a linear program is the algebraic curve along which the interior point algorithms travel. We determine the degree, genus and defining ideal of this curve. These invariants, as well as the total curvature of the curve, are expressed in the combinatorial language of matroid theory. This is joint work with Jesus De Loera and Cynthia Vinzant.