The polynomial method

Joint IAS/Princeton University Number Theory Seminar
Topic:The polynomial method
Speaker:Jordan Ellenberg
Affiliation:University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date:Thursday, December 11
Time/Room:1:30pm - 2:30pm/Fine 214, Princeton University

In 2008, Zeev Dvir gave a surprisingly short proof of the Kakeya conjecture over finite fields: a finite subset of $F_q^n$ containing a line in every direction has cardinality at least $c_n q^n$. The "polynomial method" introduced by Dvir has led to a wave of activity in applications of algebraic and arithmetic geometry to extremal problems in combinatorial geometry, including a theme semester at IPAM in spring 2014. I'll give a general talk about this line of work, including results of Guth and Katz, Kollar, and some of my own (joint with Oberlin-Tao and Hablicsek) and talk about some open questions and ideas for further progress.