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Professor Henry Cohn (MIT), Colloquium
February 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tea at 3:30 pm in PH 330
Title: The sphere packing problem in dimensions 8 and 24
Abstract: What is the densest packing of congruent spheres in Euclidean space? This problem arises naturally in geometry, number theory, and information theory, but it is notoriously difficult to solve, and until recently no sharp bounds were known above three dimensions. Last spring Maryna Viazovska found a remarkable solution of the sphere packing problem in eight dimensions. In this talk I’ll describe how her breakthrough works and where it comes from, as well as follow-up work extending it to twenty-four dimensions (joint work with Kumar, Miller, Radchenko, and Viazovska).