48 KAM Mathematical Colloquium
Prof. Cheryl Praeger
COMPUTERS IN ALGEBRA: FIRST CAME ANSWERS AND THEN MORE QUESTIONS
June 19, 2003
The 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.