48 KAM Mathematical Colloquium
Prof. Cheryl Praeger
COMPUTERS IN ALGEBRA: FIRST CAME ANSWERS AND THEN MORE QUESTIONS
June 19, 2003
AbstractThe use and development of computer technology by algebraists over the last forty years has revolutionised the way in which algebraists think about algebra, and the way they teach it and conduct their research. First came answers to several mathematical questions demonstrating the power of computers. These served to raise new questions thereby inspiring new conceptual breakthroughs, new algorithms, and new computer algebra systems. Computers have become an indispensable tool at the forefront of cutting-edge research in algebra: for exploring new concepts and structures, spotting patterns, and suggesting new conjectures and theorems. Their use, and the mathematics developed to support it, have led to new areas of algebraic research which integrate and build on diverse areas of mathematics, including complexity theory and probability theory. Key group theoretic advances illustrating these developments will be incorporated into the lecture.