Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Location: Rockefeller Hall 307
Title: A historical tour of symbolic summation
Abstract: The need to evaluate a sum, not only numerically, but also symbolically dates back to (at least) the ancient Greeks. In those days, pebbles of different shapes and colors were used to derive some closed formulas. it took many centuries and the skillfulness and wit of mathematicians like Euler and Gauss to deal with complicated sum expressions. Nowadays, there is an increasing number of symbolic algorithms available which are capable of taking over such tasks and assisting scientists. In this talk, we will present a selection of (old and new) summation problems and a variety of (old and new) techniques to handle them.