September 20, 2016
In 1975 Goppa suggested a general method for constructing error correcting codes based on algebraic geometry. In a long line of research such codes were constructed, constituting as a precious example of a construction that beats the probabilistic method (namely, the Gilbert-Varshamov bound). In this talk we give a brief introduction to algebraic geometric codes, and present applications to small-bias sets and, if time permits, also to hitting set generators for low degree polynomials. No prior knowledge in algebraic geometry is assumed.