# Questions tagged [co.combinatorics]

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

2,269
questions with no upvoted or accepted answers

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### (Approximately) bijective proof of $\zeta(2)=\pi^2/6$ ?

Given $A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2$, write $A \leftrightarrows B$ if the
interior of the line segment AB misses
${\Bbb Z}^2$.
For $r>0$, define
$S_r:=\{ \{A, B\} | A,B\in {\Bbb Z}^2,||A||<r,||B||<r, |...

**48**

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2k views

### On the first sequence without triple in arithmetic progression

In this Numberphile video (from 3:36 to 7:41), Neil Sloane explains an amazing sequence:
It is the lexicographically first among the sequences of positive integers without triple in arithmetic ...

**45**

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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 ...

**38**

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### Is there anything to the obvious analogy between Joyal's combinatorial species and Goodwillie calculus?

Combinatorial species and calculus of functors both take the viewpoint that many interesting functors can be expanded in a kind of Taylor series. Many operations familiar from actual calculus can be ...

**35**

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### 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 = (\alpha,...

**32**

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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 $T \in {\cal F}_k$,
...

**30**

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### How to prove the identity $L(2,(\frac{\cdot}3))=\frac2{15}\sum\limits_{k=1}^\infty\frac{48^k}{k(2k-1)\binom{4k}{2k}\binom{2k}k}$?

For the Dirichlet character $\chi(a)=(\frac a3)$ (which is the Legendre symbol), we have
$$L(2,\chi)=\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{(\frac n3)}{n^2}=0.781302412896486296867187429624\ldots.$$
Note that this ...

**29**

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2k views

### Vertex coloring inherited from perfect matchings (motivated by quantum physics)

Added (19.01.2021): Dustin Mixon wrote a blog post about the question where he reformulated and generalized the question.
Added (25.12.2020): I made a youtube video to explain the question in detail.
...

**28**

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1k views

### Linking formulas by Euler, Pólya, Nekrasov-Okounkov

Consider the formal product
$$F(t,x,z):=\prod_{j=0}^{\infty}(1-tx^j)^{z-1}.$$
(a) If $z=2$ then on the one hand we get Euler's
$$F(t,x,2)=\sum_{n\geq0}\frac{(-1)^nx^{\binom{n}2}}{(x;x)_n}t^n,$$
on the ...

**28**

votes

**0**answers

799 views

### 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 ...

**25**

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799 views

### A question on simultaneous conjugation of permutations

Given $a,b\in S_n$ such that their commutator has at least $n-4$ fixed points, is there an element $z\in S_n$ such that $a^z=a^{-1}$, and $b^z=b^{-1}$? Here $a^z:=z^{-1}az$.
Magma says that the ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

776 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 ...

**24**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**24**

votes

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1k 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 ...

**23**

votes

**0**answers

662 views

### How much of the plane is 4-colorable?

In 1981, Falconer proved that the measurable chromatic number of the plane is at least 5. That is, there are no measurable sets $A_1,A_2,A_3,A_4\subseteq\mathbb{R}^2$, each avoiding unit distances, ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

495 views

### Zero curves of Tutte Polynomials?

There is an extensive theory of the real and complex roots of the chromatic polynomial of a graph, a substantial fraction of this being due to the connections between the chromatic polynomial and a ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**22**

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434 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 $H$.
Is ...

**22**

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764 views

### 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 ...

**22**

votes

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2k 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 ...

**21**

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493 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 ...

**21**

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834 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 \...

**21**

votes

**0**answers

2k views

### 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 numbers:...

**20**

votes

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375 views

### Straight-line drawing of regular polyhedra

Find the minimum number of straight lines needed to cover a crossing-free straight-line drawing of the icosahedron $(13\dots 15)$ and of the dodecahedron $(9\dots 10)$ (in the plane).
For example, ...

**20**

votes

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503 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)
...

**20**

votes

**0**answers

3k views

### 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?

**19**

votes

**1**answer

452 views

### “quantum” symmetric plane partitions beget alternating sign matrices?

The "quantum" version qTSPP of the number of totally symmetric plane partitions, contained in the cube $[0,n]^3$, is enumerated by
$$f_n(q):=\prod_{j=1}^n\prod_{k=1}^j\prod_{\ell=1}^k\frac{1-...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

469 views

### Simpler proofs of certain Ramsey numbers

The reason for the gorgeous simplicity of the classic proofs of $R(3,3)$, $R(4,4)$, $R(3,4)$ and $R(3,5)$ is that essentially all you need is the trivial bound and a picture.
But for bigger Ramsey ...

**19**

votes

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712 views

### 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 $...

**19**

votes

**0**answers

1k views

### coloring ${\mathbb Z}^k$

This question is related to but seems to be simpler than this one, so perhaps somebody can solve it.
Question. Is there $k\ge 1$ and a coloring of vertices of the lattice ${\mathbb Z}^k$ in $k$ ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

366 views

### Does the Ackermann function count something?

Let $\mathrm{FinSet}$ be the category of finite sets.
A finite set structure is a faithful functor $F\colon C\to \mathrm{FinSet}$ such that, for any $n\geq 1$, there are only finitely many isomorphism ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

391 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 $n$ ...

**18**

votes

**0**answers

327 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 $\{S_\...

**18**

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516 views

### 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 ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

931 views

### Almost monochromatic point sets

There are many sort of equivalent theorems about monochromatic configurations in finite colorings, such as Van der Waerden, Hales-Jewett or Gallai's theorem, the latter of which states that in a ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

651 views

### Ramsey's theorem for the first uncountable ordinal

Sierpiński proved that a version of Ramsey's theorem for colourings of pairs of countable ordinals fails miserably by comparing the ordering of $\omega_1$ with the linear ordering of (a subset of) the ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

503 views

### Question about combinatorics on words

Let $\{a_1,a_2,...,a_n\}$ be an alphabet and let $\{u_1,...,u_n\}$ be words in this alphabet, and $a_i\mapsto u_i$ be a substitution $\phi$.
Question: Is there an algorithm to check if for some $m,k$...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

419 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 ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

617 views

### 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 ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

758 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, ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

451 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 ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

715 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 ...

**17**

votes

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843 views

### Combinatorial identity involving the Coxeter numbers of root systems

The setup is:
$R$ = irreducible (reduced) root system;
$D$ = connected Dynkin diagram of $R$, with nodes numbered $1,2,...,r$;
$\hat D$ = extended Dynkin diagram, nodes numbered $0,1,2,...,r$;
$\...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

827 views

### The easily bored sequence

If we want to compare the repetitiveness of two finite words, it looks reasonable, first of all, to consider more repetitive the word repeating more times one of its factors, and secondarily to ...

**16**

votes

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462 views

### Finite version special case Jacobi triple product formula

In this paper, Shanks uses the following formula:
$$ \sum_{s=0}^{n-1}q^{s(2n+1)} \times \left( \prod_{k=s+1}^{n} \dfrac{1-q^{2k}}{1-q^{2k-1}}\right) = \sum_{s=1}^{2n} q^{\frac{s(s-1)}{2}}$$
to get a ...

**16**

votes

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341 views

### Combinatorial characterization of intersecting intervals in the plane

Consider $n$ points $A=\{A_1,\dotsc,A_n\}$, and another set of points, $B=\{B_1,\dotsc,B_n\}$ in the plane. We can assume they are all disjoint.
For each permutation $\pi$, consider the collection of ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

932 views

### What to do with results you found but cannot prove(outside your research area)?

Not sure if MathOverflow is still a place to discuss such things, but I'll give it a try. Tell me an alternative site, in case it is wrong here. I translated a representation-theory/combinatorial ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

434 views

### A Product Related to Unrestricted Partitions

Start with the product for unrestricted partitions:
$(1+x+x^2+...)(1+x^2+x^4+...)(1+x^3+x^6+...)...$
Now replace some of the plus signs with minus signs and expand the product into a series. Is it ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

713 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 ...

**16**

votes

**0**answers

519 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 $2n$ ...