Enumerative combinatorics, graph theory, order theory, posets, matroids, designs and other discrete structures. It also includes algebraic, analytic and probabilistic combinatorics.

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Intersecting Family of Triangulations

Let $\cal T_n$ be the family of all triangulations on an $n$-gon using $(n-3)$ non-intersecting diagonals. The number of triangulations in $\cal T_n$ is $C_{n-2}$ the $(n-2)$th Catalan number. Let ...
36
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How to prove this polynomial always has integer values at all integers?

Let $m$ be any positive integer. $$ P_m(x)=\sum_{i=0}^{m}\sum_{j=0}^{m}{x+j\choose j}{x-1\choose j}{j\choose i}{m\choose i}{i\choose m-j}\frac{3}{(2i-1)(2j+1)(2m-2i-1)}. $$ Question: $P_m(x)$ always ...
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Which region in the plane with a given area has the most domino tilings?

I just finished teaching a class in combinatorics in which I included a fairly easy upper bound on the number of domino tilings of a region in the plane as a function of its area. So this led to ...
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Fourier transform on the discrete cube

Notation: identify an element of $\{-1,1\}^n$ with the set $S \subseteq \{1, \ldots, n\}$ on which it takes the value $-1$. The following is an asymptotic question. "Close to one" means "more than ...
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Does every triangle-free graph with maximum degree at most 6 have a 5-colouring?

A very specific case of Reed's Conjecture Reed's $\omega$,$\Delta$, $\chi$ conjecture proposes that every graph has $\chi \leq \lceil \tfrac 12(\Delta+1+\omega)\rceil$. Here $\chi$ is the chromatic ...
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A Combinatorial Abstraction for The “Polynomial Hirsch Conjecture”

Consider $t$ disjoint families of subsets of {1,2,…,n}, ${\cal F}_1,{\cal F_2},\dots {\cal F_t}$ . Suppose that (*) For every $i \lt j \lt k$ and every $R \in {\cal F}_i$, and $T \in {\cal F}_k$, ...
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Curious $q$-analogues

Consider the Fibonacci polynomials $$F_n (x) = \sum_{j = 0}^{\left\lfloor {n/2} \right\rfloor }\binom{n-j}{j} x^{n - 2j} $$ and the Lucas polynomials $$L_n (x) = \sum_{j = 0}^{\left\lfloor {n/2} ...
25
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632 views

3-colorings of the unit distance graph of $\Bbb R^3$

Let $\Gamma$ be the unit distance graph of $\Bbb R^3$: points $(x,y)$ form an edge if $|x,y|=1$. Let $(A,B,C,D)$ be a unit side rhombus in the plane, with a transcendental diagonal, e.g. $A = ...
22
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931 views

Do all possible trees arise as orbit trees of some permutation groups?

I.Motivation from descriptive set theory (Contains some quotes from Maciej Malicki's paper.) The classical theorem of Birkhoff-Kakutani implies that every metrizable topological group G admits a ...
21
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661 views

tiling a rectangle with the smallest number of squares

This is based on another thread. For $m,n\in \mathbb N$, let $f(m,n)$ be the minimum number of squares with integer sides needed to tile a $m\times n$ rectangle. Recently, a table of values for $n\le ...
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530 views

Cauchy matrices with elementary symmetric polynomials

$\newcommand{\vx}{\mathbf{x}}$ Let $e_k(\vx)$ denote the elementary symmetric polynomial, defined for $k=0,1,\ldots,n$ over a vector $\vx=(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ by \begin{equation*} e_k(\vx) := \sum_{1 ...
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415 views

probability of zero subset sum

Almost 17 years ago, I asked the following question on USENET, motivated by a method in numerology (I kid you not). Pick integers $n \ge 2$, $k \ge 1$. Toss $n$ $k$-sided dice. The sides of each die ...
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Trigonometry related to Rogers--Ramanujan identities

For integers $n\ge2$ and $k\ge2$, fix the notation $$ [m]=\sin\frac{\pi m}{nk+1} \quad\text{and}\quad [m]!=[1][2]\dots[m], \qquad m\in\mathbb Z_{>0}. $$ Consider the following trigonometric ...
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Two conjectures about zero inner products and dissociated sets

The following problems come from something I worked on (with my coauthors) related to proving a new time lower bound for streaming problems. Having worked on these problems for some time with little ...
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Time for Langton's ant to cover a “square” torus

Langton's ant is a cellular automaton running as follows: Squares on a plane are colored variously either black or white. We arbitrarily identify one square as the "ant". The ant can travel ...
18
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Combinatorics of Quantum Schubert Polynomials

Let $S_n$ be the symmetric group. Let $s_i$ denote the adjacent transposition $(i \ i+1)$. For any permutation $w\in S_n$, an expression $w=s_{i_1}s_{i_2}\cdots s_{i_p}$ of minimal possible length is ...
18
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939 views

The Fourier Transform of taking Eigenvalues

The purpose of this question is to ask about the Fourier transform of the map which associate to an $n$ by $n$ matrix its $n$ eigenvalues, or some function of the $n$ eigenvalues. The main motivation ...
17
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383 views

Which sets of roots of unity give a polynomial with nonnegative coefficients?

The question in brief:   When does a subset $S$ of the complex $n$th roots of unity have the property that $$\prod_{\alpha\, \in \,S} (z-\alpha)$$ gives a polynomial in $\mathbb R[z]$ with ...
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Minimal number of intersections in a convex $n$-gon?

For a convex polygon $P$, draw all the diagonals of $P$ and consider the intersection points made by those diagonals. Let $f(n)$ be the minimal number of such intersections where $P$ ranges over all ...
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417 views

partition of infinite word onto permitted words

Consider words over binary alphabet $\{0,1\}$. Let $M$ be a set of finite words such that $M$ contains at least $c\cdot 2^n$ words of length $n$ for all large enough $n$ (for a constant $c$, ...
17
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272 views

Is the Poset of Graphs Automorphism-free?

For $n\geq 5$, let $\mathcal {P}_n$ be the set of all isomorphism classes of graphs with n vertices. Give this set the poset structure given by $G \le H$ if and only if $G$ is a subgraph of $H$. ...
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Why do polytopes pop up in Lagrange inversion?

I'd be interested in hearing people's viewpoints on this. Looking for an intuitive perspective. See Wikipedia for descriptions of polytopes and the Lagrange inversion theorem/formula (LIF) for ...
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295 views

Need explicit formula for certain “$q$-numbers” involving gcd's

The question is motivated by yet another possible approach to a combinatorial problem formulated previously in "Special" meanders. I'm not giving details of the connection as I believe the ...
16
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247 views

Deforming a basis of a polynomial ring

The ring $Symm$ of symmetric functions in infinitely many variables is well-known to be a polynomial ring in the elementary symmetric functions, and has a $\mathbb Z$-basis of Schur functions ...
16
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359 views

Hall's Marriage Theorem and intervals

In Hall's Marriage Theorem, we have a set $B$ of brides and $G$ of grooms, where each bride $b$ has an acceptable set $A_b \subseteq G$ of grooms. A matching $m:B\to G$ is an injection such that $m(b) ...
16
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522 views

Is there a n/2 version of the Erdős-Hanani conjecture?

This question comes out of REU research from this past summer. Unfortunately weeks of thought led to only trivial observations and the conclusion that the problem is quite hard. Fix $k,t$. Let $F$ be ...
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Origins of the Nerve Theorem

Recently, I've read two papers which have cited the Nerve Theorem, one crediting Borsuk with the result and another Leray. Here is the question: Who was the first to prove the Nerve Theorem?
15
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A Linear Order from AP Calculus

In teaching my calculus students about limits and function domination, we ran into the class of functions $$\Theta=\{x^\alpha (\ln{x})^\beta\}_{(\alpha,\beta)\in\mathbb{R}^2}$$ Suppose we say that ...
15
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Spencer's “six standard deviations” theorem - better constants?

This question is about Joel Spencer's famous "six standard deviations" theorem. The theorem says that when $$ L_i(x_1,\dots,x_n) = a_{i1} x_1 + \dots + a_{in} x_n, \quad 1 \leq i \leq n, $$ are $n$ ...
15
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296 views

Maximum automorphism group for a 3-connected cubic graph

The following arose as a side issue in a project on graph reconstruction. Problem: Let $a(n)$ be the greatest order of the automorphism group of a 3-connected cubic graph with $n$ vertices. Find a ...
15
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545 views

A bijection between sets of Young tableaux of two kinds

Assuming that the problem of exhibiting a bijection is not considerd a frivolous pursuit, allow me to ask a question troubling me for some time now. Let $\lambda \vdash n$ denote the fact that ...
15
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Covers of $Z^k$

This is a question related to covers of $Z^\infty$. Is it possible to cover $Z^k$, $k>1$, with the $l_1$-metric by a constant (not depending on $k$) number of collections of subsets $U^0,...,U^c$ ...
15
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853 views

Is every k-edge-connected graph also k-trail-ordered?

This is an old question of Aradhana Narula-Tam and Philip Lin that I think deserves wider circulation. It appeared in Discrete Math. 257 (2002), page 613, but not many people have looked at it and it ...
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774 views

Optimal Monotone Families for the Discrete Isoperimetric Inequality

Background: the Discrete Isoperimetric Inequality Start with a set X={1,2,...,n} of n elements and the family $2^X$ of all subsets of X. For a real number p between zero and one, we consider a ...
14
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252 views

An algebraic strengthening of the Saturation Conjecture

The Saturation Conjecture (proved by Knutson-Tao) asserts that $c_{n\mu,n\nu}^{n\lambda}\neq 0\Rightarrow c_{\mu,\nu}^{\lambda} \neq 0$, where $c$ denotes a Littlewood-Richardson coefficient and $n$ ...
14
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Probability of many overlapping zero inner products on a circle

[Question edited and changed a little on June 14 2015] Consider an $n$-dimensional vector $v$ with $v_i \in \{-1,1\}$. Now consider an $n$-dimensional vector $w$ with $w_i \in \{-1,0,1\}$. The ...
14
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195 views

Coloring a Ferrers diagram

I've shopped the problem below around a bit and it seems like it might be known, or not that hard to resolve, but so far I've come up empty-handed. Say that a coloring of the dots of a Ferrers ...
14
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554 views

What's the big deal about $M_{13}$?

$M_{13}$ is the Mathieu groupoid defined by Conway in Conway, J. H. $M_{13}$. Surveys in combinatorics, 1997 (London), 1–11, London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., 241, Cambridge Univ. Press, ...
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300 views

Monotone embedding of complete binary tree in hypercube

Embedding different graphs, especially binary trees, in the hypercube has a huge literature. However, I could not find anything if we restrict the embedding to be monotone. So I would like to ...
14
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628 views

A Conjecture About Directed Graphs that are the Union of Two Trees

Let D=(V,E) be a directed graph that is the union of two edge-disjoint directed spanning trees. Suppose that There no subset X of vertices so that there is precisely one directed edge from X ...
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Grothendieck on polyhedra over finite fields

In Grothendieck's Sketch of a Programme he spends a few pages discussing polyhedra over arbitrary rings and concludes with some intriguing remarks on specializing polyhedra over their "most singular ...
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What is the best lower bound for 3-sunflowers?

A collection of $t$ sets $A_i$ is called a t-sunflower if $A_i \cap A_j = Z $ for all $i \neq j$ for some fixed $Z$. A well-known conjecture of Erdos and Rado says that there is a constant $C_t$ such ...
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418 views

Catalan objects associated to a univariate polynomial

Given a monic degree $n$ polynomial $f(z)$ with no double roots, and a phase $0\leq \theta < \pi$, there are natural constructions which associate to this data: a noncrossing matching on $2n$ ...
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$\epsilon$-nets with respect to the cut norm

The cut norm $||A||\_C$ of a real matrix $A = (a_{i,j}) \in \mathcal{R}^{n\times n}$ is the maximum over all $I \subseteq [n], J \subseteq [n]$ of the quantity $\left|\sum_{i \in I, j \in ...
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Minimum tiling of a rectangle by squares

Given the $n\times m$ rectangle, I want to compute the minimum number of integer-sided squares needed to tile it (possibly of different sizes). Is there an efficient way to calculate this?
13
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678 views

Polynomials with presumably positive coefficients

After seeing that some positivity problems get their solutions on MO, I am quite enthusiastic of posing my (and not only) problem of positive flavour. In order to state it, I have to introduce the ...
12
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316 views

Word complexity of primes mod 4

For an infinite binary word $w$, the word complexity $f_w(n)$ is defined as the number of different subwords of length $n$. The asymptotic behavior of this function is an important parameter of the ...
12
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167 views

Polytopes with few vertices and few facets

I recently realized that, for fixed $\alpha$ and $\beta$, the number of (combinatorial types of) $d$-polytopes with $\leq d+1+\alpha$ vertices and $\leq d+1+\beta$ facets is bounded by a constant that ...
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realization spaces of 3-dimensional polytopes

It is a well-know result (Steinitz, 1922) that the realization space of 3-dimensional convex polytopes with fixed combinatorics is contractible. A proof of this theorem can be found for instance in ...
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547 views

How to explain the picturesque patterns in François Brunault's matrix?

How to explain the patterns in the matrix defined in François Brunault's answer to the question Freeness of a Z[x] module depicted below? -- Choosing colors according to the highest power of 2 which ...