While this event will be popular with mathematicians it will appeal to the general public.

David Singmaster doing street magic and maths on Grafton Street, in Maths in the City, Dublin, Maths Week Ireland, 2011 |

**David Singmaster** was born in USA and is professor emeritus of mathematics at South Bank University, London. He is a renowned authority on recreational mathematics, puzzles and games. He is in demand for his lectures on mathematics, puzzles and the history of mathematics. A self-described “metagrobologist” (one who makes or solves puzzles), he is most famous for his solution to the Rubik's Cube and his books: Notes on Rubik's magic cube, Handbook of Cubik Math, Rubik's Cube Compendium and his huge personal collection of mechanical puzzles and books of brain teasers.

**The Chester Beatty Library** holds one of the world’s finest collections of Eastern and Middle Eastern manuscripts, rare books and other items. The library is in the grounds of Dublin Castle.

**Booking with** Lisa Fitzsimons, Chester Beatty Library: 01 4070779 lisaf@cbl.ie **www.cbl.ie**

This year's Hamilton Lecture will be given by Professor Yuri Manin,The Max Planck Institute of Mathematics, on Tuesday October 16^{th} in Gleeson Hall Theatre, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street.

** **Error-correcting codes, their asymptotic bounds, and Kolmogorov complexity.

**Abstract:** An error-correcting code C over a given finite alphabet A is simply a set of words of some fixed length n of which one can think as ‘meaningful’ ones, such as Morse code for letters.

When such a code is used in practice, some input data are translated into a sequence of code words that are then transmitted through a channel with random noise.

There arises a problem: at the output end the initial words must be reconstructed from corrupted words. ‘Good codes’ are those that maximize simultaneously the probability of correct reconstruction and the relative quantity of meaningful words.

In 1981 the author defined and proved the existence of the so called ‘asymptotic bound’: a continuous curve that in a sense determines the boundary for possible good codes. But not a single value of this function is known, and in 2011 the author even conjectured that it might be uncomputable.

In this talk, I will sketch all the relevant techniques and a proof of the recent result (2012, joint with M. Marcolli) showing that a natural partition function involving Kolmogorov complexity allows us to interpret the asymptotic bound as a curve dividing two different thermodynamic phases of codes.

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