Event time:

Monday, May 7, 2007 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Location:

205 LOM

Speaker:

Jacob Marcus '08

Speaker affiliation:

Yale University

Event description:

Archimedes began his challenge “If thou art diligent and wise, O stranger,

compute the number of cattle of the Sun.” The stipulations for the number of

cattle follow in four stanzas. The problem reduces to Pell’s equation and a

CRAY-1 supercomputer finally solved it in 1981.

We will trace the history of Pell’s Equation from around 200 B.C. when

Archimedes posed the cattle problem to 600 A.D. when the Indian mathematician

Brahmagupta first studied the equation rigorously to the 18th century when

Euler and Lagrange tackled the problem with continued fractions.

Special note:

SPECIAL SEMINAR