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UID:20200409T012904EDT-5530bf112d@www.amherst.edu/node/764729
DTSTAMP:20200409T052904Z
CATEGORIES:Amherst Event
DESCRIPTION:Some definitions of the word <\;i>\;symmetry<\;/i>\; in
clude “correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing\,” “balanced
proportions” and “the property of remaining invariant under certain chang
es\, as of orientation in space.” One might think of snowflakes\, butterfl
ies and our own faces as naturally symmetric objects—or at least close to
it. Mathematically\, one can also conjure up many symmetric objects: even
and odd functions\, fractals\, certain matrices and modular forms\, a type
of symmetric complex function. All of these things exhibit a kind of beau
ty in their symmetries\, so would they lose some of their innate beauty if
their symmetries were altered? Alternatively\, could some measure of beau
ty be gained with slight symmetric imperfections? We will explore these qu
estions\, guided by the topic of modular forms and their variants. What ca
n be gained by perturbing modular symmetries in particular? We will discus
s this theme from past to present: the origins of these questions have the
ir roots in the first half of the 20th century\, dating back to Ramanujan
and Gauss\, while some fascinating and surprising answers come from just t
he last 15 years.
DTSTART:20200220T213000Z
DTEND:20200220T213000Z
LOCATION:Seeley G. Mudd Building\, 206
SUMMARY:Math Colloquium: Amanda Folsom\, “Symmetry\, Almost”
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