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Addition, multiplication, and why they don’t get along

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The sum-product conjecture, put forward by Erdős and Szemerédi in the 1980s, states that the set of all pairwise sums and the set of all pairwise products of a finite subset of the reals cannot simultaneously be close to minimal in size. Despite the simplicity of its statement and a significant amount of research effort devoted to its resolution, the conjecture remains open to this day. In this talk I will explain the motivation for the conjecture as well as some fascinating partial results.

This talk is part of the Trinity Mathematical Society series.

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