As big data sets have become more common, there has been significant interest in finding and understanding patterns in them. One example of a simple pattern is the distance between data points, which can be thought of as a 2-point configuration. Two classic questions, the Erdos distinct distance problem, which asks about the least number of distinct distances determined by N points in the plane, and its continuous analog, the Falconer distance problem, explore that simple pattern. Questions similar to the Erdos distinct distance problem and the Falconer distance problem can also be posed for more complicated patterns such as triangles, which can be viewed as 3-point configurations. In this talk I will present recent Falconer type theorems, established by myself and my collaborators, for a wide class of finite point configurations in any dimension. The techniques we used come from analysis and geometric measure theory, and the key step was to obtain bounds on multilinear analogues of generalized Radon transforms.

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Last updated: 17 Aug 2019