• Speaker: Dr Michael Coons, CARMA, The University of Newcastle
  • Title: A functional introduction to Mahler's method
  • Location: Room V129, Mathematics Building (Callaghan Campus) The University of Newcastle
  • Time and Date: 4:00 pm, Thu, 9th Aug 2012
  • Abstract:

    Let $F(z)$ be a power series, say with integer coefficients. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Kurt Mahler discovered that for $F(z)$ satisfying a certain type of functional equation (now called Mahler functions), the transcendence of the function $F(z)$ could be used to prove the transcendence of certain special values of $F(z)$. Mahler's main application at the time was to prove the transcendence of the Thue-Morse number $\sum_{n\geq 0}t(n)/2^n$ where $t(n)$ is either 0 or 1 depending on the parity of the number of 1s in the base 2 expansion of $n$. In this talk, I will talk about some of the connections between Mahler functions and finite automata and highlight some recent approaches to large problems in the area. If time permits, I will outline a new proof of a version of Carlson's theorem for Mahler functions; that is, a Mahler function is either rational or it has the unit circle as a natural boundary.

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