Understanding whether (and how often) a mathematical expression takes a square value is a problem that has fascinated mathematicians since antiquity. In this lecture a survey of this problem, starting from its independent origins in many cultures in ancient times to some of the major advances of the modern day will be given. How the problem closely relates to the very active and exciting area of modern mathematics known as “arithmetic geometry” and how the ideas of this subject have revolutionized cryptography and coding theory will also be explained.
Schedule for the lecture
4.00 pm Distinguished Lecture
5.00 pm Tea/Coffee at TIFR Auditorium Pandal