Los Angeles Math Circle

5/16 -- Group B: Going with Gauss (Prof. Kirby Baker)

The Gaussian integers are a pretty set of numbers in the complex plane. Their properties resemble properties of the ordinary integers, but even better, they help to explain some properties of the ordinary integers. We'll discuss what the Gaussian integers are and why they work the way they do. Knowledge of the complex numbers is not assumed; we'll review what's needed. (For those who are interested, some notes from Math Circle sessions on complex numbers from Fall 2009 are at http://www.math.ucla.edu/~baker/circle/.)