#### Ethan White

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)

**Research Topic**

Framework rigidity

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A multidimensional Szemerédi's theorem in the primes (2016)

In this thesis, we investigate topics related to the Green-Tao theorem on arithmetic progression in primes in higher dimensions. Our main tool is the pseudorandom measure majorizing primes defined in [51] concentrated on almost primes. In chapter 2, we combine the sieve technique used in constructing pseudorandom measure (in this case, Goldston-Yildirim sum and almost primes) with the circle method of Birch to study the number of almost prime solutions of diophantine systems (with some rank conditions). Our rank condition is similar to the integer case, due to the heuristics that almost primes are pseudorandom. In chapter 3, we investigate the generalization of Green-Tao’s theorem to higher dimensions in the case of corner configuration. We apply the transference principle of Green-Tao (with hyperplane separation technique of Gowers) in this setting. This problem is also related to the densification trick in [16]. In chapter 4, we extend the result of Chapter 3 to obtain the full multi-dimensional analogue of the Green-Tao’s theorem, using hypergraph regularity method by directly proving a version of hypergraph removal lemma in the weighted hypergraphs. The method is to run an energy increment on a parametric weight systems of measures, rather than on a single measure space, to overcome the presence of intermediate weights. Contrary to [110], [68] where theauthors investigate the problem using a measure supported on primes and infinite linear form conditions, relying on the Gowers Inverse Norms Conjecture.

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Distance problems and points on curves : an algebraic approach (2014)

In this thesis we give results on unit and rational distances, structure results for surfaces containing many points of a cartesian product and a survey of various, mainly combinatorial, applications of the Subspace Theorem. We take an algebraic approach to most of the problems and use techniques from commutative algebra, incidence geometry, number theory and graph theory. In Chapter 2 we give extensions of a result of Elekes and Rónyai that says that if the graph of a real (or complex) polynomial contains many points of a cartesian product then the polynomial has a special additive or multiplicative form. We extend this to asymmetric cartesian products and to higher dimensions. Elekes and Rónyai’s result was used to prove a conjecture of Purdy on the number of distinct distances between two collinear point sets in the plane. Our extensions give improved bounds for the conjecture. In Chapter 3 we prove a special case of the Erdős unit distance problem. This problem asks for the maximum possible number of unit distances between n points in the plane in the form of an asymptotic upper bound. We provide an upper bound of n^(1+7/sqrt(log(n))) when we only consider unit distancescorresponding to roots of unity and give a superlinear lower bound. We also consider related rational distance problems. We require an algebraic result of Mann on the number of solutions of linear equations of roots of unity. In Chapter 4 we extend our result from the previous chapter to unit distances coming from a multiplicative subgroup of ℂ^* of “low” rank. We usea corollary of the Subspace Theorem. In this case we get, for ε > 0, at most cn^(1+ε) unit distances. We show that the well known lower bound construction of Erdős for the general unit distance problem consists of distances from such a subgroup and so our result applies to the best known maximal unit distance sets. In Chapter 5 we give a survey of various applications of the Subspace Theorem including less well known combinatorial applications such as sum-product estimates and line configurations with few distinct intersections.

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An algebraic view of discrete geometry (2011)

This thesis includes three papers and one expository chapter as backgroundfor one of the papers. These papers have in common that they combinealgebra with discrete geometry, mostly by using algebraic tools to provestatements from discrete geometry. Algebraic curves and number theoryalso recur throughout the proofs and results. In Chapter 1, we will detailthese common threads.In Chapter 2, we prove that an infinite set of points in R² such that allpairwise distances are rational cannot be contained in an algebraic curve,except if that curve is a line or a circle, in which case at most 4 respectively 3points of the set can be outside the line or circle. In the proof we use theclassification of curves by their genus, and Faltings' Theorem.In Chapter 3, we informally present an elementary method for computingthe genus of a planar algebraic curve, illustrating some of the techniques inChapter 2.In Chapter 4, we prove a bound on the number of unit distances that canoccur between points of a finite set in R², under the restriction that the linesegments corresponding to these distances make a rational angle with thehorizontal axis. In the proof we use graph theory and an algebraic theoremof Mann.In Chapter 5, we give an upper bound on the length of a simultaneousarithmetic progression (a two-dimensional generalization of an arithmeticprogression) on an elliptic curve, as well as for more general curves. Wegive a simple proof using a theorem of Jarnik, and another proof using theCrossing Inequality and some bounds from elementary algebraic geometry,which gives better explicit bounds.

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