of U. C. Berkeley

Who will us about:

At San Jose State University

in the Engineering Auditorium Room 189

on Wednesday, March 15, 2006

at 7:30 pm

Solving equations is hard work. Mathematicians often study equations by treating them as congruences. If an equation in integers has an exact solution, it has a solution modulo every positive integer. This means, for example, that an equation with no solutions mod 17 has no solutions at all. Most equations do have solutions; we can study them by examining and counting solutions modulo the different prime numbers. Solution counting is at the heart of a host of famous conjectures of mathematics, some already proved and some still standing as open problems.Kenneth Ribet studied at Brown University and Harvard University. He received his PhD in 1973 from Harvard, where his advisor was John Tate. After three years of teaching in Princeton and two years of research in Paris, Ribet joined the Berkeley faculty in 1978. He received his department's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1985. Dr. Ribet is known for his work in number theory and algebraic geometry. He played a prominent role in the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem by showing that this statement was a logical consequence of a conjecture about elliptic curves. (Andrew Wiles proved this conjecture in 1995, thereby obtaining Fermat's Last Theorem as a corollary.) Ribet is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics at UCLA and a member of the editorial boards of the following three Springer book series: Graduate Texts in Mathematics, Universitext, Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics. He serves also on the editorial boards of Mathematische Annalen, the Annales de l'Institut Fourier, the Journal of Number Theory and Mathematics Research Letters. Dr. Ribet was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2000. He was awarded the Fermat Prize in 1989 and received an honorary PhD from Brown University in 1998. Dr. Ribet was inducted as a Vigneron d'honneur by the Jurade de Saint Emilion in 1988.

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