Event Detail

Event Type: 
REU Colloquium
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 10:00 to 10:45
Zoom - Email Holly for Link

Speaker Info

Local Speaker: 

Is this the most elementary presentation topic you have ever seen? You
may be surprised.

What method might someone choose for determining whether or not two
fractions are equal, and is it valid? There are several possibilities
that are a priori varyingly credible or conclusive.

Not wanting to spill the beans for audience participation, I maintain
there is a very delicate mathematical issue here, something powerful but
sufficiently subtle that it tends early to become invisible to a
mathematician, by assuming intuitive second nature. For others it
remains entirely outside conscious awareness, despite perhaps being used
occasionally in practice without question.

Gauss, Euler, and Euclid all shed light on the question. So is the
biggest secret of fractions too complicated for school or street? Quick,
does 23/67 equal 33/97, and why?