COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Mathematics Colloquium: Finding the Roots of a Polynomial: New Methods for an Old Problem


4:10 pm Neill 5W

David Watkins

The problem of finding the zeros of a polynomial is ancient, having been studied by Babylonians 4000 years ago. An equivalent but much more recent problem is that of computing the eigenvalues of a matrix. Nowadays the standard method for computing (approximate) zeros of a polynomial is to write down an equivalent eigenvalue problem and solve it by a numerical method. This talk, which is meant to be accessible to the entire mathematical community, will begin with very basic information about these problems, their equivalence, and issues associated with their solution. From there we will proceed gradually to state-of-the-art methods.