June 26, 2019

Group Theory and Indigenous People

The mathematics of Group Theory arises in so many contexts!  Not all of them are expected.  The kinship relations of the Warlpiri people of Australia are seemingly very complex, and one must wonder how the scheme was ever devised.  This is rather nicely covered in the book Ethnomathematics, A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, by Marcia Ascher.  In my article at Warlpiri Groups I build upon the presentation from that book.  I work out a concrete representation of the group in terms of states and operators in an eight-dimensional real space.  This is a fairly advanced topic, but it is a great opportunity to deal with Group Theory in a pragmatic example.

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