Hyperovals, Laguerre planes and hemisystems - an approach via symmetry
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In 1872, Felix Klein proposed the idea that geometry was best thought of as the study of invariants of a group of transformations. This had a profound effect on the study of geometry, eventually elevating symmetry to a central role. This thesis embodies the spirit of Klein's Erlangen program in the modern context of finite geometries -- we employ knowledge about finite classical groups to solve long-standing problems in the area. We first look at hyperovals in finite Desarguesian projective planes. In the last 25 years a number of infinite families have been constructed. The area has seen a lot ...