Mathematics 454 – Combinatorics
(01:640:454) – Fall 2007

General Information

See the main course page for the background of the course.

Current Semester:

The course will use Sakai for all material during the semester. All enrolled students should have automatic access to the site after logging in to Sakai.


Fred Roberts & Barry Tesman; Applied Combinatorics (second edition); Prentice-Hall, 2005 (780 pp.); (ISBN# 0-13-079603-4)

Here is the syllabus that evolved on the Sakai site during the term. Some of the things that I learned from teaching the class were prepared as supplements. As part of a review for the first midterm, review problem 13 from chapter 2 was attempted. A solution using only methods of chapter 2 proved elusive, but here is my attempt at one. After introducing generating functions, a second solution was given. An exercise asking for a proof of Dilworth's theorem on efficient decomposition of partially ordered sets into disjoint chains was assigned in error (failing to properly edit the new lines of the syllabus), so I organized material that I found in the library into a brief report on the theorem. Since the textbook separates basic material on generating functions from their relation to recurrences, an outline of an approach unifying the two chapters was prepared.


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Created August 31, 2007 by RTB.

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