SMS scnews item created by Yinan Zhang at Wed 24 Mar 2010 1631
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 25 Mar 2010
Calendar1: 25 Mar 2010 1300-1400
CalLoc1: Carslaw 452
Auth: yzhang(.pmgrad;1504.2007)

SUMS: Menzies -- Infinite pretty pictures and Ramsey Theory

Ramsey theory is a very elegant part of combinatorics that deals with trying to find
method in the madness, and structure amid total disorder.  I will focus on theorems (and
conjectures) concerning finite colourings of the positive integers.  Van Der Waerden’s
theorem, that in a finite colouring of the integers there are arbitrarily large
monochromatic arithmetic progressions, and Ramsey’s theorem itself on finite colourings
of graph, are both two very pleasing results in this area.  Even questions concerning
infinite colourings of the positive integers have surprisingly solid answers.  On the
other hand, many ridiculously simple questions are still completely unknown.  

So I’ll talk about lovely elementary problems in this area.  No experience in maths
necessary, and very accessible to all (seriously).  For those who know graph theory, I
will do a treatment of Ramsey theory that’s probably quite different from how it’s
usually done with finite graphs etc.

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