How Hard Can it Be?
Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Willey Hall 125
Margaret Wright (New York University)
Some problems in life are very hard (achieving world peace) while others are, at least for many of us, pretty easy (eating a good breakfast). How can we figure out which are which? Math can often tell us precisely how hard real-world problems are—but not always. We'll look at easy problems, hard problems, the sources of hardness, and puzzling instances where problems are invariably easier than today's math says they should be.