Sponsored by the Rutgers University Department of Mathematics and the
Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS)

Andrew Baxter, Rutgers University, baxter{at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu
Lara Pudwell, Rutgers University, lpudwell {at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu
Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University, zeilberg {at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu

Title: The Tangled Tale of the Evolution of Dodgson Condensation as an Experimental Method

Speaker: Francine F. Abeles, Kean University

Date: Thursday, February 14, 2008 5:00pm

Location: Hill Center, Room 705, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


Dodgson condensation has become a powerful tool in the automation of determinant evaluations. In this talk I describe its 19th century roots and the major steps on the tangled path that began in the 20th century when the iteration of an identity derived by him was first studied. Stops along the way, including a modern combinatorial proof of it, are its role in the discovery of the alternating sign matrix conjecture and the evaluation of one of MacMahon's important determinants in partition theory. I then discuss additional developments that have led to its use in modern experimental mathematics.