UTA Department of Mathematics

Applied Mathematics Seminar

Date/Time/Room: Wednesday (3/22/2006) at 1:00pm in 304 Pickard Hall

Speaker: Dr. Vadim Ponomarenko, Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics, Trinity University, Texas

"Paper Football, Vending Machines, and Chicken McNuggets"

Abstract: The connection to these topics (and many others) is the Frobenius problem. Given a set $A=\{a_1, a_2,\ldots, a_k\}$ of positive integers, we consider the numerical monoid $M=\{\sum \alpha_i a_i: \alpha_i\in \Bbb{N}_0\}$. By a theorem of Schur, the set $\Bbb{N}\setminus M$ is finite (provided that the elements of $A$ have no common factor); the Frobenius problem is to determine its largest element. This problem has a long, rich, and interesting history, with much work still ongoing. This talk will give some highlights, as well as some recent results with undergraduates. No chickens will be harmed.