Michele D'Adderio (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ISA)

ISA lecture: Mathematics that counts

  • Date: 23 MARCH 2021  from 17:30 to 18:30

  • Event location: http://www.isa.unibo.it/en/resources/links/link-zoom-isa-lecture-2021

Counting is a human activity that is at least 35000 years old. Today, the mathematics of selecting, arranging and counting collections of objects is called combinatorics. Though interesting nontrivial examples occur already in the I Ching (~1100 BC), serious attemps to study systematically combinatorial problems do not appear before the middle of the 17th century. In fact, somewhat surprisingly, combinatorics has not  even been considered a respectable mathematical discipline (like say algebra or geometry) until the second half of the 20th century. In its half century of contemporary history, combinatorics flourished into one of the most thrilling area of mathematical research, finding important applications into virually any field of pure and applied mathematics, as well as other sciences like biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and economy. In this lecture we present a quick (and biased) overview of the tale of how and why the cinderella of mathematics (cit.) got finally invited to the royal ball.