MATH 407
Dance of the Primes Fall 2023
Division III Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
This is not the current course catalog

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Prime numbers are the building blocks for all numbers and hence for most of mathematics. Though there are an infinite number of them, how they are spread out among the integers is still quite a mystery. Even more mysterious and surprising is that the current tools for investigating prime numbers involve the study of infinite series. Function theory tells us about the primes. We will be studying one of the most amazing functions known: the Riemann Zeta Function. Finding where this function is equal to zero is the Riemann Hypothesis and is one of the great, if not greatest, open problems in mathematics. Somehow where these zeros occur is linked to the distribution of primes. We will be concerned with why anyone would care about this conjecture. More crassly, why should solving the Riemann Hypothesis be worth one million dollars? (Which is what you will get if you solve it, beyond the eternal fame and glory.)
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Expected: 10
Class#: 1493
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: exams and weekly homework assignments
Prerequisites: MATH 350 or MATH 351, and MATH 355
Enrollment Preferences: seniors
Distributions: Division III Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
QFR Notes: It is a math course.

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