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Combinatorics Seminar


Directions to the department.

Organizers: Laura Anderson, Michael Dobbins, Benjamin Schröter, and Thomas Zaslavsky.

  • Tuesday, January 21
    Virtual Combinatorics Colloquium
    Speaker: Matjaz Konvalinka (Ljubljana)
    Title: The First Bijective Proof of the ASM Theorem
    Time: 2:00 - 3:00 (Note special time), preceded by a brief organizational meeting at 1:40
    Room: WH-100E

  • Tuesday, January 28
    No meeting today; we're all too busy.

  • Tuesday, February 4
    Speaker: Laura Anderson (Binghamton)
    Title: A Charming Conjecture Coming From Mathematical Psychology
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

    In joint work with John Dunn I've been trying to establish whether two types of psychological model are actually equivalent. The problem reduces to a simple, purely combinatorial question about patterns among inequalities in a rectangular array of numbers. I don't know the answer to the question: this talk is my shameless effort to recruit some help.

  • Tuesday, February 11
    Speaker: Michael Dobbins (Binghamton)
    Title: The Real RAM Analogue to the Cook--Levin Theorem
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

    In “A Framework for robust realistic geometric computations” by Erickson, van der Hoog, and Miltzow, the authors introduce a real analog of NP defined as those decision problems where every positive instance has a witness consisting of both bits and real numbers that can be verified in polynomial time in the real RAM model of computation. They show that such a problem can be reduced in polynomial time on a Turing machine to deciding whether a multivariate polynomial formula has a real solution. This is analogous to the Cook–Levin Theorem, which shows that every problem in NP can be reduced in polynomial time to deciding whether a Boolean formula has a satisfying assignment.

  • Tuesday, February 18
    No meeting today; we're warming up for next week's exciting talk.

  • Tuesday, February 25
    Speaker: Ed Swartz (Cornell)
    Title: Polymatroids are to Finite Groups as Matroids are to Finite Fields
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

    In 1935 Whitney introduced matroids as a combinatorial abstraction of linear independence. Since then there has been a strong connection between matroids, and the geometry and combinatorics of finite dimensional vector spaces over finite fields. Polymatroids are a very simply defined generalization of matroids. I will try to convince the audience that the title is nowhere near as crazy as it sounds. I will take classic examples of how matroids and vector spaces over finite fields interact, and show that they are special cases of how polymatroids and finite groups interact.

  • Tuesday, March 3
    No meeting today.

  • Tuesday, March 10
    Speaker: Chris Eppolito (Binghamton)
    Title: Extension Spaces of Strongly Euclidean Oriented Matroids
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

    Following work of B. Sturmfels and G. Ziegler, I give a proof that the extension space of a strongly euclidean oriented matroid of rank $r$ is homotopy equivalent to the $(r-1)$-sphere.

  • Tuesday, March 17
    Speaker: Casey Donoven (Binghamton)
    Title: Intersection Numbers and Minimal Subbases
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15

    Given a finite semigroup $S$, define $\Phi(S)$ to be the intersection of all maximal subsemigroups of $S$, also known as the Frattini subsemigroup of $S$. The intersection number of $S$ is the minimum number of maximal subsemigroups whose intersection is $\Phi(S)$. I will speak about a particular example of a semigroup with an interesting intersection number. In this example, the intersection number is equivalent to the minimum size of a subbasis of the discrete topology on a finite set, which is known.

    The seminar will exist exclusively online, via Zoom. Casey will open the Zoom meeting at 1:00 to give time to work out any technical difficulties.

  • [Tuesday, March 24] POSTPONED: new date will be announced
    Speaker: Olakunle Abawonse (Binghamton)
    Title: Homeomorphism Types of the Combinatorial Grassmannian MacP(2,n) and the Combinatorial Flag Manifold MacP(1,2,n)
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Location: TBA

    The Grassmannian manifold G(2,n) and flag manifold G(1, 2,n) are known to be homotopy equivalent to their respective combinatorial analogues MacP(2,n), MacP(1,2,n), which are simplicial complexes constructed from posets of oriented matroids and flags of oriented matroids. In this talk, I will prove that G(2,n) and G(1,2,n) are actually homeomorphic to these combinatorial analogues.

  • Tuesday, March 31
    No meeting today.

  • Tuesday, April 7
    Virtual Combinatorics Colloquium
    Speaker: Maria Chudnovsky (Princeton)
    Title: Recent Progress on the Erdos--Hajnal Conjecture
    Time: 2:00 p.m.
    What is the effect of excluding an induced subgraph on the global structure of a graph? While there do not seem to be general structural consequences, a conjecture of Erdos and Hajnal states that graphs with forbidden induced subgraphs behave very differently from general graphs; more precisely, they contain much larger cliques or stable sets. This conjecture is still open. I will discuss the history of this problem and some recent theorems related to it.

  • Tuesday, April 14
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

  • Tuesday, April 21
    Speaker: Amelia (Mattern) Cyr
    Title: Deficiency in Signed Graphs
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15, a break, and continuing for a while.
    Location: Zoom meeting ID and link to be announced.
    This is Ms. Cyr's doctoral dissertation defense. The examining committee consists of Laura Anderson, Michael Dobbins, Leslie Lander (outside examiner), and Thomas Zaslavsky (chair).
    All are welcome to participate via Zoom.

  • Saturday, April 25, 2020 (This will be online or postponed; to be decided.)
    DISCRETE MATHEMATICS DAY at the University at Albany
    Attendance is free. Preregistration (by April 15) helps them supply enough lunch. There are five invited talks, and a poster session that is open to everyone from undergraduates to retirees.

  • Tuesday, April 28
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

  • Tuesday, May 5
    Speaker: Ashley Wheeler (Mount Holyoke)
    Title: TBA
    Time: 1:15 - 2:15
    Room: WH-100E

Anticipated Future Talks

seminars/comb/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/31 18:42 by zaslav