Quartic Curves and their Bitangents

Algebra Seminar
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 2:00pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
D.M. Smith Room 015
University of California, Berkeley
A smooth quartic curve in the projective plane has 36 representations as a symmetric determinant of linear forms and 63 representations as a sum of three squares. We report on joint work with Daniel Plaumann and Cynthia Vinzant regarding the explicit computation of these objects. This lecture offers a gentle introduction to the 19th century theory of plane quartics from the current perspective of convex algebraic geometry.