**Date & Time:** Monday, May 17, 2010, 16:30-17:30.

**Venue:** Ramanujan Hall

**Title:** The Word Problem

**Speaker:** Siddhartha Gadgil, IISc, Bangalore

**Abstract:**
The word problem is the problem of determining whether a given
word in the generators of a finitely presented group represents the
trivial element. A closely related decision problem is the conjugacy
problem - to decide whether two given elements are conjugate. These
are both special cases of the general problem of determining whether
an equation in a group has a solution.

We shall discuss the word problem and other related decision problems, primarily in the spirit of viewing them as model problems in mathematics. We illustrate the different points of view that are fruitful in addressing them. We also briefly discuss problems that cannot be reduced to such problems of equations over groups.

This talk is in part motivated by the goal of using automated reasoning tools as assistants to mathematicians.