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GTC Visions Seminar: What is a formula? October 18, 2017 (03:30 PM PDT - 05:30 PM PDT)
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Location: MSRI: Simons Auditorium
Speaker(s) Igor Pak (University of California, Los Angeles)
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Integer sequences arise in a large variety of combinatorial problems as a way to count combinatorial objects.  Some of them have nice closed formulas, some have elegant recurrences or asymptotics, and some have nothing interesting about them at all.  Can we characterize when?  Can we even formalize what is a "nice formula"?   I will give a mini-survey aiming to answer these questions from a historical perspective, ending with how I hope things will be done in the future.

The talk is aimed at a general audience and if all goes well will be somewhat entertaining.

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