Secant Varieties and Applications

Secant Varieties and Applications

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Wei Ho, Princeton University
Fine Hall 214

The notion of secant varieties in algebraic geometry is classical, but not much is known about these objects, even for many simple cases. Surprisingly, it is possible to translate certain questions in fields as disparate as complexity theory, statistics, and biology into straightforward (but often unsolved) problems about secant varieties. I will introduce secant varieties and present some examples of applications to other fields and to algebraic geometry itself. No knowledge of algebraic geometry, or of these other fields, will be assumed.