Please join us on Friday at 1 PM in 103A Walker Hall to hear Dr. Carl Mummert speak on...
How to Multiply Big Natural Numbers
Abstract: Big natural numbers are all around. They keep your data private on the internet, and scientists use them for high precision simulations. Adding big numbers is not very hard, but multiplying them is much more challenging. The problem of multiplying numbers efficiently is at the border between mathematics and computer science. I will introduce several multiplication algorithms currently used in state of the art software. Then I will describe a breakthrough announced by two researchers in 2019. They produced an algorithm that can multiply two natural numbers - of any size - with an efficiency we think is optimal. Along the way, we will see how multiplying natural numbers leads us to polynomials, complex numbers, and the Fast Fourier Transform. This talk is aimed at anyone with a background of college algebra or higher.
About Dr. Mummert: Carl is currently the Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies and Assistant Provost for Institutional Efficiency and Academic Analytics at Marshall University. He earned a PhD in Mathematics from Penn State in 2005 and held postdoctoral positions here at Appalachian and the University of Michigan. His teaching interests include innovative grading systems and inquiry based learning, for which he held a Hedrick Teaching Fellowship in 2018-19. He has also served as national Program Coordinator for the Mathematical Association of American Special Interest Group (SIGMAA) on Inquiry Based Learning. Dr. Mummert’s research is in mathematics and theoretical computer science. In 2022, he published the graduate monograph Reverse Mathematics: Problems, Reductions, and Proofs with co-author Damir Dzhafarov through Spring-Verlag. He has published 16 papers, of which three are co-authored with Marshall students, as well as an undergraduate textbook published by the American Mathematical Society. .