New Trends and Directions in Combinatorics (12w5001)


Penny Haxell (University of Waterloo)

(Tel Aviv University)

Beny Sudakov (ETH, Zurich)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "New Trends and Directions in Combinatorics" workshop from August 19th to August 24th, 2012.

Combinatorics, sometimes also called Discrete Mathematics, is a branch

of mathematics focusing on the study of discrete objects and their

properties. Although Combinatorics is probably as old as the human

ability to count, the field experienced tremendous growth during the

last fifty years and is one of the most modern in today's Mathematics,

with numerous connections to different disciplines and various

practical applications, ranging from designing VLSI chips to modeling

complex social networks.

Is it true that in any company of six people there are three who all

know each other, or alternatively are all unfamiliar with each other?

Can the countries of any planar map be colored with at most four

colors so that no two countries that share a common boundary have the

same color? In how many ways can one traverse all major cities of some

country, visiting each city only once? If each link of a complex

telephone network fails with probability p, what is the probability

that Alice will not be to have a phone conversation with her friend

Bob? Questions of this type are in the heart of modern Combinatorics.

The workshop will discuss some of latest developments in these fields,

their connections and applications, and recently emerged research


The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).