Combinatorics II – Spring 2017


Instructor: Shubhangi Saraf


Timing:  MTh 12 pm - 1:20 pm 

Location:  Hill-525

Office hours:  Thursday 1:20 pm– 2:20 pm (Hill 426, Busch Campus)


Text:  There is no text, but there are several books that we will be referring to, and many of them will be on library reserve.

Some of the relevant books include: The Probabilistic Method (Alon & Spencer), Extremal Combinatorics (Stasys Jukna), Linear Algebra Methods in Combinatorics (Babai & Frankl)



Prerequisites: 16:642:582 or permission of instructor


Description: This is the second part of a two-semester course surveying basic topics in combinatorics.

Topics for the full year should include most of:


• Enumeration (basics, generating functions, recurrence relations, inclusion-exclusion, asymptotics)

• Matching theory, polyhedral and fractional issues

Partially ordered sets and lattices, Mobius functions

• Theory of finite sets, hypergraphs, combinatorial discrepancy, Ramsey theory, correlation inequalities

• Probabilistic methods

• Algebraic and Fourier methods • Entropy methods


Grade: The grade will be based on problem sets. There will be about 4 -5 problem sets assigned over the course of the semester. There will be no exams.



Homework 1

Homework 2

Homework 3

Homework 4