##### Department of Mathematics,

University of California San Diego

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### Algebra

## Skip Garibaldi

#### Emory University

## Invariants of Symmetric Bilinear Forms

##### Abstract:

%\textfont\bffam=\tenbf \scriptfont\bffam=\tenbf In an undergraduate linear algebra course, one learns about inner products on $\Bbb R^n$. Since the dot product is essentially the only one, they are not very interesting. People actually study a broader class of objects --- {\it symmetric bilinear forms} --- which include what physicists call Minkowski space. The desire to classify symmetric bilinear forms leads to investigating their invariants. This talk will discuss symmetric bilinear forms as a case study to motivate the general theory of cohomological invariants, as presented in a forthcoming book by Serre, et al. A good portion of this talk will be classical in nature, and so accessible to a more general audience.

Host: Adrian Wadsworth

### May 13, 2003

### 1:00 PM

### AP&M 7321

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