Sponsored by the Rutgers University Department of Mathematics and the
Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS)
Title: What does the combinatorial landscape look like?
Speaker: Henry Cohn, Microsoft Lab, Cambridge, MA
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012 5:00pm
Location: Hill Center, Room 705, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ
There are two extremes in combinatorics that are relatively well understood: highly symmetrical objects, which can often be classified, and thoroughly random objects, which can often be studied probabilistically. However, many natural extremal problems lie in between these possibilities. The solutions have considerable structure, but little actual symmetry.
In this talk, we'll take a look at several examples. I'll try to make the case that experimental mathematics needs two things in this area:
(1) A conceptual explanation for the unreasonable effectiveness of simple tools. (2) More sophisticated tools, which can help explore some of the blank areas on our map.