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How to solve a problem by making it harder

Vicky Neale

Date Icon Week 3, Tuesday 2 February HT 2016
Time Icon 8:15pm

Surprisingly, sometimes the way to make progress on a mathematical problem is to tackle a harder problem instead. I’ll describe an example of such a problem from number theory that has led to some beautiful mathematics, involving ideas that at first sight seem to have nothing to do with the integers. We’ll also see an application of the important fact that 1 is the smallest positive integer.