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The Erdős discrepancy problem
[2017 CMC Distinguished Lecture Series by Terence Tao]
Date: 2017-06-15
Speaker : Terence Tao (UCLA)
Abstract : The discrepancy of a sequence f(1), f(2), ... of numbers is defined to be the largest value of |f(d) + f(2d) + ... + f(nd)| as n,d range over the natural numbers. In the 1930s, Erdos posed the question of whether any sequence consisting only of +1 and -1 could have bounded discrepancy. In 2010, the collaborative Polymath5 project showed (among other things) that the problem could be effectively reduced to a problem involving completely multiplicative sequences. Finally, using recent breakthroughs in the asymptotics of completely multiplicative sequences by Matomaki and Radziwill, as well as a surprising application of the Shannon entropy inequalities, the Erdos discrepancy problem was solved in 2015. In this talk I will discuss this solution and its connection to the Chowla and Elliott conjectures in number theory.
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