Professor Manjul Bhargava will speak in the Distinguished Lecture Series on March 12, 2008.

Speaker : Professor Manjul Bhargava
Date : Mar 12, 2008
Venue : P C Saxena Auditorium
Time : 3:00 to 4:30 pm
Title : Linguistics, Drumming and Mathematics
Abstract: Mathematics pervades all the sciences, but it also lies at the heart of a number of fields in the humanities. Two important such subjects, which go back to ancient times, are linguistics and music; in fact, many of the modern mathematical tools used in probability and combinatorics, and applied in varied technologies such as those on NASA space missions, originate in problems encountered by linguists and musicians thousands of years ago. A look at some of these ancient, poetic problems--and their remarkable solutions through the ages--reveals much about the nature of human thought and the origins of mathematics.
About the Speaker: Prof. Manjul Bhargava received Ph. D. from Princeton under the supervision of Andrew Wiles in 2001. He is now Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, one of the youngest ever to receive that rank in Princeton's history at the age of 28.

He has received numerous awards for his outstanding research in Number Theory. He received the Cole Prize in Number Theory from the American Mathematical Society in 2008. In 2005 he received the Sastra Ramanujan Prize, the Clay Research Award, Leonard M. and Eleanor B. Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics. He was awarded the Medal of the College de France in 2004 and the Mathematical Association of America's Merten M. Hasse Prize for Exposition in 2003.

He was named as one of Popular Science Magazine's "Brilliant 10" in 2002. He also received the first Five-Year Long-Term Prize Fellow of the Clay Mathematics Institute in 2000 and AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Mathematics in 1997.

The Cole Prize citation noted Bhargava's "revolutionary work on higher composition laws", which introduced completely new and unexpected ideas into a subject that began with work of Brahmagupta in 628 C.E. and Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1801.

"[Bhargava's] techniques and insights ... are dazzling; even in the case considered by Gauss, they lead to a new and clearer presentation of that theory," the prize citation says.

"If Bhargava had stopped with this discovery, his work would already be quite remarkable. But Bhargava has gone on to use his composition laws to solve a new case of one of the fundamental questions of number theory, that of asymptotic enumeration of number fields of given degree, as the discriminant grows.

Bhargava used his new composition laws to solve the degree 4 case, brilliantly overcoming very serious analytic problems that had completely blocked all previous work on the problem."