Alex Kontorovich at The Cartesian Cafe

I had a very nice discussion with Alex Kontorovich on circle packings, a subject that isn’t covered in the standard curriculum of a mathematician’s training. I’m glad we talked about it because it’s one of those subjects that has its origins in the most basic concepts in mathematics and yet continues to be a source of infinite richness as it matures over centuries (millennia in the present situation!). It’s amazing how connections to wide-ranging fields of mathematics come up in our discussion, including fractals and their dimensions, hyperbolic dynamics and limit sets, Coxeter groups and the work of Escher, and the local to global principle for quadratic forms.

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