Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mathematics without ApologiesPortrait of a Problematic Vocation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175836

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

How to Explain Number Theory at a Dinner Party

How to Explain Number Theory at a Dinner Party

(p.259) Chapter γ‎ How to Explain Number Theory at a Dinner Party
Mathematics without Apologies

Michael Harris

Princeton University Press

This chapter continues the discussion began in Chapter α‎. It presents the third part of author's response to the question, “What is it you do in number theory, anyway?” Working his way up to the guiding problem of the Birch–Swinnerton–Dyer conjecture, here he deals with congruences, specifically how to count solutions to congruences. The story of congruences is that a problem where the variables can take infinitely many values can be replaced by one in which the variables can take only finitely many values, and it is sometimes enough to solve the latter problem in order to solve the former.

Keywords:   mathematicians, number theory, dinner party, Birch–Swinnerton–Dyer conjecture, congruences

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.