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Public Lectures
Benedict Gross (George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University)
Date & Time
06 January 2012, 17:15 to 18:15
AG 66, TIFR, Mumbai

I will discuss a problem which has been central in number theory for several centuries – whether a cubic equation in the plane has infinitely many rational solutions.This led to a precise conjecture by Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer in the 1960s, and to some partial progress in the 1980s. More recently, Manjul Bhargava has introduced a new method to study the average number of solutions. I will give some idea of the historical development of this subject, and will try to illustrate the excitement of working in this field.