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Public Statements

A New Achievement in Mathematics

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce a new achievement in mathematics.

We learned about square roots in middle school. In the 15th century, mathematicians discovered the square roots of negative numbers. These ``imaginary numbers'' form the basis of much science and engineering, which are applied for practical uses, like the design of airplane wings.

In the 1920s, Paul Dirac constructed the square roots of ``differential operators'' in the development of quantum mechanics, which is the basis of much high-tech science.

In the 1970s, another type of square root, called ``matrix factorization,'' which is important in physics, was discovered by David Eisenbud. This month, Daniel Murfet, a postdoc at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, announced new ways of linking matrix factorizations together, which will have numerous applications.

Mr. Murfet's work was funded by the National Science Foundation, and illustrates the importance of our Nation's continuing investment in the research and education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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