**Feb 14, 2017, 4pm**

THO 234

**Lynn Chua, ***Department of Computer Science**, UC Berkeley*

*Abstract:* Representations of nonnegative polynomials as sums of squares are central to real algebraic geometry and the subject of active research. The sum-of-squares representations of a given polynomial are parametrized by the convex body of positive semidefinite Gram matrices, called the Gram spectrahedron. This is a fundamental object in polynomial optimization and convex algebraic geometry. We summarize results on sums of squares that fit naturally into the context of Gram spectrahedra, present some new results, and highlight related open questions. We discuss sum-of-squares representations of minimal length and relate them to Hermitian Gram spectrahedra and point evaluations on toric varieties.