Department of Mathematics

Topical Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematicians

  •  Peter Magyar, MSU
  •  Necklaces, finite fields, and Lie algebras
  •  03/15/2019
  •  4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
  •  C304 Wells Hall

The classical necklace problem asks, given q possible colors of beads, how many ways to string n beads around a necklace, counting rotations as the same. This has a nice solution using Mobius inversion from number theory. Amazingly, necklaces also give a way to picture the elements of a finite field with q^n elements, as well as a basis of the free Lie algebra with q generators.



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science