 
Summary: COLLOQUIUM
University of Regina
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Speaker: Chris Fisher, University of Regina
Title: Ovals in Finite Projective Planes
Date: Friday, September 17, 2004
Time: 3:30PM
Place: Math & Stats Lounge (CW 307.18)
Abstract
In a projective plane coordinatized by the finite field of order q, an
oval is a set of q + 1 points, no three of which are collinear. Fifty years
ago it was proved that when q is odd there exist no ovals other than
the conics. The planes of even characteristic, on the other hand, have
many different ovals, and for the past fifty years the goal has been to
classify them. The classification problem has inspired a lively research,
with connections to number theory, group theory, and combinatorics, as
well as to geometry. Recent progress has been so rapid that a web page
(http://wwwmath.cudenver.edu/ wcherowi/research/hyperoval/hypero.html)
is maintained to report the latest discoveries. I plan to start from the
beginning, introducing the basic properties of planes and their ovals,
