Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College

Lecture: Mel Nathanson P'10

Friday, April 12

Fisher Science Center - Clark Auditorium


Join us for a lecture with combinatorial and additive number theorist Mel Nathanson P'10 titled "Problems and Results in Additive Number Theory."

There are many old and new problems and results about addition of integers. For example, it was proved in the 18th century that every number is a sum of 4 squares, but it was not proved until the 20th century that every large number is a sum of 7 cubes, and that every large odd number is the sum of 3 primes.

In the 21st century, we still do not know if every large number is the sum of 6 cubes, or if every large even number is the sum of 2 primes. These are classical problems. In additive number theory, there are also many new questions with at best partial answers that arose in the 21st century. This talk will survey classical and modern results.

The only prerequisite is elementary school arithmetic.

About Mel Nathanson P'10

Mel Nathanson is a well-known combinatorial and additive number theorist based at Lehman College, CUNY and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has authored over 150 research papers in the field, and been an author or editor on 20 books. He recevied his Ph.S. from the University of Rochester in 1972, doing some of his doctoral work at the University of Cambridge. In 1972-3 he became the first American mathematician to receive the IREX fellowship to spend a year in the former USSR, and was elected to return in 1977, though the Soviet government refused him re-entry. In 1974-5 he was based at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University as Assistant to André Weil.

Mel wrote 19 papers with Paul Erdos, and is known for his annual conference CANT (Combinatorial and Additive Number Theory), as well as his mathematical, meta-mathematical, political and social commentaries. In 2018 he was elected to be a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Mel's son Alex attended Simon's Rock and graduated in 2010, concentrating in photography and politcal science.

This event is free and open to the public. ACE credit available for students.