**9**

votes

**1**answer

498 views

### Minimizing the excursion of a sum of unit vectors

I have $n$ unit-length vectors $v_i$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$, whose
sum is zero:
$$ v_1 + v_2 + \cdots + v_n = 0 \; .$$
Now I form the closed polygon $P$ in space by placing them head to tail.
So the ...

**7**

votes

**4**answers

551 views

### Knot diagrams, sets of moves and equivalence relations

Short version: Does anyone study equivalence classes generated by a given set of "moves" (in the sense of, but not limited to, Reidemeister moves) on the set of knot diagrams?
Yes, I understand that ...

**9**

votes

**5**answers

504 views

### Minimal blocking objects with shadows like a cube

This is a more geometric version of the previous question,
"Lattice-cube minimal blocking sets". I will first specialize to $\mathbb{R}^3$, $d=3$.
View an $n \times n \times n$ cube $C_3(n)$ as ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

254 views

### Lattice-cube minimal blocking sets

Let $C_d(n)$ be the lattice cube consisting of the $n^d$ points with
each of its $d$ coorindates in $\lbrace 1,2,\ldots,n \rbrace$.
Define a blocking set for a lattice cube to be a set of points
in ...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

183 views

### Mean number of $n$-simplices per $(n-2)$-simplex in a triangulated $n$-manifold

Work by Tamura (extending results by Luo and Stong) shows the following.
Theorem: For any closed 3-manifold $M$ and any rational number $4.5 < r < 6$ there is a triangulation $T$ of $M$ for ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

660 views

### Monomer-Dimer tatami tilings need better relationships with other math. Summary of results.

A monomer-dimer tiling of a rectangular grid with $r$ rows and $c$ columns satisfies the \emph{tatami} condition if no four tiles meet at any point. (or you can think of it as the removal of a ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

81 views

### When do there exist locally regular embeddings of regular graphs?

I don't know how one can tackle the following kind of question, so any hint is welcome. I formulate a precise question in order to fix ideas, but it is to be considered as an example out of a more ...

**12**

votes

**6**answers

870 views

### Optimal pebble-packing shape

Suppose you throw many ($n$) congruent convex bodies (in $\mathbb{R}^3$) of unit volume (or of unit area in $\mathbb{R}^2$) into a large container, and shake it until little else changes.
Q. ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### Tetris-like falling sticky disks

Suppose unit-radius disks fall vertically from $y=+\infty$,
one by one, and create a random jumble of disks above the $x$-axis.
When a falling disk hits another, it stops and sticks there.
Otherwise, ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

507 views

### Midpoint lattice polygons

Midpoint polygons (a.k.a Kasner polygons) have been studied, and their behavior is well understood.
I am considering a variant, which I call midpoint lattice polygons.
Start with a sequence of ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

115 views

### Graph implemened into the plane with segments as edges and we search for matching with no edges intersecting

There are some points in the plane and some of them are connected with segments between them. We look at this structure as a graph implemented into the plane where the points are the vertices and the ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

186 views

### Generators of a 2D lattice

Dear MO_World,
I'm hoping someone can point me towards a reference for something. I have an invertible $2\times 2$ matrix, $A$, with real entries such that for both of the rows, the entries are ...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

655 views

### Combinatorial analogues of curvature

There appear to be many "combinatorial" definitions of curvature as applied to finite simplicial (or regular CW) complexes. For instance, we have the ideas of Cheeger, Muller and Schrader, of Forman ...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Building a genus-$n$ torus from cubes

I wonder if this has been studied:
What is the fewest number of unit cubes
from which one can build an $n$-toroid?
The cubes must be glued face-to-face,
and the boundary of the resulting ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

502 views

### Partitioning the vertices of an n-cube with random hyperplane cuts

An evolutionary biologist asked me a question which boils down, at least in part, to what seems to me an interesting question of combinatorial/probabilistic geometry.
It is an old chestnut of a ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

304 views

### How small parallelograms are we guaranteed to get, when we select the two sides from different plane lattices?

Title question description: Select two lattices $\Lambda_1$ and $\Lambda_2$ (here a lattice=additive free abelian group without accumulation points) of maximal rank two in the real plane. We normalize ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

263 views

### Grading a non-graded poset as squeezed as possible

Here is a curiosity question (motivated by the recent revamp of ranked-poset routines in Sage).
Let $P$ be a finite poset. We look for a family $\left(a_p\right)_{p\in P}$ of real numbers summing up ...

**21**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Covering a unit ball with balls half the radius

This is a direct (and obvious) generalization of the recent MO question, "Covering disks with smaller disks":
How many balls of radius $\frac{1}{2}$ are needed to cover completely a ball of radius ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

328 views

### Touching-tetrahedra graphs

Have the graphs representable by touching tetrahedra been explored?
Let $\cal T$ be a collection of tetrahedra in $\mathbb{R}^3$
with pairwise disjoint interiors.
Define a graph $G_{\cal T}$ to have ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

131 views

### A relation on triplets of points in the plane

This question is a follow up of my previous one (Planar sets closed under intersection of circles, Planar sets closed under intersection of circles) and is motivated by G. Zaimi's answer ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

230 views

### Min Bend Orthogonal Knots

I am seeking literature on 3D orthogonal drawings of knots,
especially minimum bend drawings.
An orthogonal drawing employs segments parallel to the axes of
a Cartesian coordinate system.
A bend is a ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

110 views

### Generalizing the internal angle of a graph in $\mathbb{E}^2$ to $\mathbb{S}^2$

I am currently working on research involving packing problems and am finding myself needing the tools from Combinatorial Geometry (in particular, I've been reading Pach and Agarwal's book on the ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

289 views

### Planar sets closed under intersection of circles

Let $P$ be the plane with a point at infinity. By plane, I mean the Euclidian plane, and therefore it has circles. A line is also a circle, though its center is at infinity. If $A\subset P$ has ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

292 views

### Acute triangulation

Assume that $S$ is a finite 2-dimensional simplicial complex equipped with a metric $d$
such that each triangle is isometric to a plane triangle (so $(S,d)$ is a polyhedral space).
Is it possible ...

**45**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### vector balancing problem

I believe the solution posted to the arXiv on June 17 by Marcus, Spielman, and Srivastava is correct.
This problem may be hard, so I don't expect an off-the-cuff solution. But can anyone suggest ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

317 views

### from affine matroid to measures

Let $S$ be an arbitrary finite spanning subset of $\mathbb{R}^d$ of cardinality $N$. Let
$W(S)$ be the formal $\mathbb{R}$-vector space generated by all $d$-dimensional
simplices (i.e. bases of the ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

167 views

### Lipshitz Constant of the convex extension of a submodular function

The title says it all :)
Given a submodular function (take the rank function of a matroid, for a concrete example) $f:\{0,1\}^n\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$, we can extend it to a convex function ...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

577 views

### maximum number of shortest path among a set of n triangle obstacles

Assume that we have a two distinct points. The number of shortest path between these two points is one. When we add a triangle obstacle to the plane and this triangle intersects the line connecting ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

313 views

### Polygons that are hard to guard

Given an $n$-vertex polygonal 'art gallery' $P$ in the plane, it is possible to cover the interior of $P$ by placing 'guards' at (at worst) $\lfloor n/3\rfloor$ of the vertices of $P$. That this is ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

345 views

### Transience of self avoiding random walks on $\mathbb{Z}^d$

I'm finishing up a masters thesis in computer science and want to say a bit in the introduction about self-avoiding walks. My thesis looks at a random process which arose in computer science and my ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

343 views

### On the number of lines of given points

Hi all, I have a question Concerning Beck's theorem. I have read it from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beck%27s_theorem and I have two questions :
I suppose Beck's theorem doesn't hold when instead ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

464 views

### Triangulations of polytopes and tilings of zonotopes

Consider a set $A = \{ a_1,a_2,\ldots, a_n \} $ of vectors in $\mathbb{R}^d$, which lie in a common affine hyperplane. Two convex polytopes may be obtained from $A$, namely the convex hull of the ...

**9**

votes

**2**answers

307 views

### The area of the intersection of convex sets with prescribed pairwise intersections

Consider two numbers $a>b>0$. Let $A_1,A_2,A_3$ be three convex sets in ${\mathbb R}^2$ such that $\mu(A_i)=a$, $\mu(A_i\cap A_j)=b$ ($\mu$ is the usual measure on ${\mathbb R}^2$). What is the ...

**11**

votes

**1**answer

193 views

### Metric conditions on configurations of points with only finitely many solutions

There is an old puzzle, which I believe I learned from Nob Yoshigahara, that asks for all configurations of four (distinct) points in the plane such that the six pairwise distances assume only two ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

633 views

### Small 4-chromatic coin graphs

A coin graph is a graph that can be represented by a set of disjoint, except possibly touching, unit disks in the plane (i.e. the disks are the vertices and the edges correspond to the pairs that ...

**10**

votes

**0**answers

278 views

### Update to Shephard's “Twenty Problems on Convex Polyhedra”

Forty-three years ago, Geoffrey Shephard published an influential list of open problems
on convex polyhedra.
Progress has been made on several of his problems, and perhaps some have been completely ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

864 views

### Primes that are the sum of three squares

This is in some sense an extension of the earlier MO question, "Gaussian prime spirals."
Gaussian primes in the complex plane, $a+b i$, require $a^2 +b^2$ prime off the axes.
The generalization to ...

**15**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Is Euler characteristic of a simplicial complex upper bounded by a polynomial in the number of its facets ?

What is the best upper bound known on the (absolute value of) the
Euler characteristic of a simplicial complex
in terms of the number of its facets ?
In particular, I am interested in proving or ...

**88**

votes

**5**answers

5k views

### Gaussian prime spirals

Imagine a particle in the complex plane, starting at $c_0$, a Gaussian integer,
moving initially $\pm$ in the horizontal
or vertical directions. When it hits a Gaussian prime, it turns left ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

194 views

### Form a $\mathbb{Z}^d$ lattice cycle from given lengths

Suppose you are given a list of integer lengths,
e.g.,
$(5,3,2,2,1,1,2,1,1)$.
The task is to decide if they can form a closed cycle
in $\mathbb{Z}^d$ by connecting segments of those
lengths in order, ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

518 views

### On the joints problem in finite fields

The original version of the so-called "joints problem" consists of the following:
Let $L$ be a set of lines in $\mathbb{R}^{3}$. Determine the maximum number of "joints" determined by these lines, ...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

621 views

### Careless packing

The sequence $\frac{1}{2}, \frac{1}{2\cdot 2}, \frac{1}{3\cdot 4}, \frac{1}{4\cdot 6}, \frac{1}{5\cdot 8}, \frac{1}{6\cdot 10},\ldots$ has a curious property, as follows:
a) the series with these ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Erdős-Szekeres for first differences

The classical Erdős-Szekeres theorem says that any sequence of $n^2+1$
real numbers contains a monotonic $(n+1)$-term subsequence. Suppose, however,
that we want to find a subsequence which is not ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

715 views

### Sperner Lemma Applications

I was always fascinated with this result. Sperner's lemma is a combinatorial result which can prove some pretty strong facts, as Brouwer fixed point theorem. I know at least another application of ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

826 views

### Interpolating points with minimum curvature constraint

I have $n$ points $p_i$ strictly interior to a rectangle $R$,
and I would like to connect them with a curve $C$ whose curvature is as low as possible.
Let $\kappa_\max(C)$ be the sharpest (largest ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

386 views

### Conformal structure does not see conical singularities

the conformal structure does not see the conical singularities of a polyhedral surface.
This is a quote from the Preface of Quantum Triangulations (eds.: Carfora, Marzuoli).
The sentiment is ...

**3**

votes

**3**answers

278 views

### Vertex-transitive polytopes in any dimension with any number of vertices?

Given positive integers $d$ and $v$ with $v \geq d+1$, does there always exist a (convex) vertex-transitive $d$-polytope with $v$ vertices? It seems that the answer should be "obviously" true, but I ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

442 views

### Tverberg partitions with less than (r-1)(d+1)+1 points

The Tverberg Theorem states the following: Let $x_1,x_2,\dots, x_m$ be points in $R^d$ with $m \ge (r-1)(d+1)+1$. Then there is a partition $S_1,S_2,\dots, S_r$ of $\{1,2,\dots,m\}$ such that $\cap ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

246 views

### Erdős-Szekeres empty pseudoconvex $k$-gons

I am wondering if the
Erdős-Szekeres
empty convex $k$-gon question has a different answer if
convexity is replaced by a pseudoline-version of convexity.
The empty convex $k$-gon question
is a variant ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

518 views

### Polygons uniquely inducing arrangements

A beautiful, relatively recent result is that,
Every simple arrangement $\cal{A}$ of $n$ lines in the plane is induced by a simple $n$-gon $P$.
In a simple arrangement, every pair of lines ...