I plan to survey some parts of Strassen's seminal body of work on the theory of asymptotic spectra, in which optimization and symmetry play crucial roles. In particular, I will motivate and explain the notion of asymptotic spectra, Strassen's duality theorem (far reaching generalization of linear programming duality, with connections to Positivstellensatz), and Strassen's connectivity theorem of the spectra of matrix multiplication.

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