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Dutch mathematician will give public lecture at NMSU

Before making a trip to Albuquerque for the American Mathematical Society's (AMC) Western Regional Meeting, one of the world's foremost experts on polynomial mappings will give an open lecture to the public on Benjamin Franklin's Magic Squares at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the New Mexico State University Corbett Center Student Union Ballrooms.

The recent explosion of interest in sudoku puzzles and related magic squares led Arno van den Essen, who has a doctorate in mathematics, to investigate the magic squares discovered by Benjamin Franklin. Coming to an understanding of the mathematical basis for Franklin's constructions, van den Essen published a book on the subject to coincide with the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth.

Van den Essen, who teaches and conducts research at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, is an expert on polynomial mappings and has published dozens of papers and a standard reference book on the subject. He also has given numerous invited lectures on five continents and directed 13 theses on various aspects of polynomial mappings.

A polynomial is an expression that is constructed from one or more variables and constants, using only the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and constant positive whole number exponents.

Van den Essen is one of four visiting mathematicians who will visit the NMSU Mathematical Sciences Department before and after the AMC conference for research collaborations.

David Finston, professor of mathematical science at NMSU, is the organizer of a special session on affine geometry at the conference, which will feature 13 visiting speakers from the U.S., France, the Netherlands and Japan. The conference will be held Oct. 13-14 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

For more information on the conference or van den Essen's local presentation, call Finston at (505) 646-2637.