Seminars and Colloquia by Series

On large multipartite subgraphs of H-free graphs

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 13:30 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Jan VolecMcGill
A long-standing conjecture of Erdős states that any n-vertex triangle-free graph can be made bipartite by deleting at most n^2/25 edges. In this talk, we study how many edges need to be removed from an H-free graph for a general graph H. By generalizing a result of Sudakov for 4-colorable graphs H, we show that if H is 6-colorable then G can be made bipartite by deleting at most 4n^2/25+O(n) edges. In the case of H=K_6, we actually prove the exact bound 4n^2/25 and show that this amount is needed only in the case G is a complete 5-partite graph with balanced parts. As one of the steps in the proof, we use a strengthening of a result of Füredi on stable version of Turán's theorem. This is a joint work with P. Hu, B. Lidický, T. Martins-Lopez and S. Norin.

Wiring diagrams and Hecke algebra traces.

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 15:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 006
Speaker
Mark SkanderaLehigh University
The (type A) Hecke algebra H_n(q) is an n!-dimensional q-analog of the symmetric group. A related trace space of certain functions on H_n(q) has dimension equal to the number of integer partitions of n. If we could evaluate all functions belonging to some basis of the trace space on all elements of some basis of H_n(q), then by linearity we could evaluate em all traces on all elements of H_n(q). Unfortunately there is no simple published formula which accomplishes this. We will consider a basis of H_n(q) which is related to structures called wiring diagrams, and a combinatorial rule for evaluating one trace basis on all elements of this wiring diagram basis. This result, the first of its kind, is joint work with Justin Lambright and Ryan Kaliszewski.

The local limit theorem on nilpotent Lie groups

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, February 23, 2018 - 15:05 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Robert HoughSUNY, Stony Brook
I will describe two new local limit theorems on the Heisenberg group, and on an arbitrary connected, simply connected nilpotent Lie group. The limit theorems admit general driving measures and permit testing against test functions with an arbitrary translation on the left and the right. The techniques introduced include a rearrangement group action, the Gowers-Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, and a Lindeberg replacement scheme which approximates the driving measure with the corresponding heat kernel. These results generalize earlier local limit theorems of Alexopoulos and Breuillard, answering several open questions. The work on the Heisenberg group is joint with Persi Diaconis.

Forbidding tight cycles in hypergraphs

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, February 16, 2018 - 15:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Hao HuangEmory University
A tight k-uniform \ell-cycle, denoted by TC_\ell^k, is a k-uniform hypergraph whose vertex set is v_0, ..., v_{\ell-1}, and the edges are all the k-tuples {v_i, v_{i+1}, \cdots, v_{i+k-1}}, with subscripts modulo \ell. Motivated by a classic result in graph theory that every n-vertex cycle-free graph has at most n-1 edges, Sos and, independently, Verstraete asked whether for every integer k, a k-uniform n-vertex hypergraph without any tight k-uniform cycles has at most \binom{n-1}{k-1} edges. In this talk I will present a construction giving negative answer to this question, and discuss some related problems. Joint work with Jie Ma.

Ewens sampling and invariable generation

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, January 26, 2018 - 15:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Gerandy BritoGeorgia Tech
We study the number of random permutations needed to invariably generate the symmetric group, S_n, when the distribution of cycle counts has the strong \alpha-logarithmic property. The canonical example is the Ewens sampling formula, for which the number of k-cycles relates to a conditioned Poisson random variable with mean \alpha/k. The special case \alpha=1 corresponds to uniformly random permutations, for which it was recently shown that exactly four are needed.For strong \alpha-logarithmic measures, and almost every \alpha, we show that precisely $\lceil( 1- \alpha \log 2 )^{-1} \rceil$ permutations are needed to invariably generate S_n. A corollary is that for many other probability measures on S_n no bounded number of permutations will invariably generate S_n with positive probability. Along the way we generalize classic theorems of Erdos, Tehran, Pyber, Luczak and Bovey to permutations obtained from the Ewens sampling formula.

Finding the Extremal Functions for the Spread and the Subgaussian Constant

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 15:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Matthew YanceyInst. for Defense Analysis
For a fixed graph $G$, let $\mathcal{L}_G$ denote the family of Lipschitz functions $f:V(G) \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ such that $0 = \sum_u f(u)$. The \emph{spread} of $G$ is denoted $c(G) := \frac{1}{|V(G)|} \max_{f \in \mathcal{L}_G} \sum_u f(u)^2$ and the subgaussian constant is $e^{\sigma_G^2} := \sup_{t > 0} \max_{f \in \mathcal{L}_G} \left( \frac{1}{|V(G)|} \sum_u e^{t f(u)} \right)^{2/t^2}$. Motivation of these parameters comes from their relationship with the isoperimetric number of a graph (given a number $t$, find a set $W \subset V(G)$ such that $2|W| \geq |V(G)|$ that minimizes $i(G,t) := |\{u : d(u, W) \leq t \}|$). While the connection to the isoperimetric number is interesting, the spread and subgaussian constant have not been any easier to understand. In this talk, we will present results that describe the functions $f$ achieving the optimal values. As a corollary to these results, we will resolve two conjectures (one false, one true) about these parameters. The conjectures that we resolve are the following. We denote the Cartesian product of $G$ with itself $d$ times as $G^d$. Alon, Boppana, and Spencer proved that the set $\{u: f(u) < k\}$ for extremal function $f$ for the spread of $G^d$ gives a value that is asymptotically close to the isoperimetric number when $d, t$ grow at specific rates and $k=0$; and they conjectured that the value is exactly correct for large $d$ and $k,t$ in ``appropriate ranges.'' The conjecture was proven true for hypercubes by Harper and the discrete torus of even order by Bollob\'{a}s and Leader. Bobkov, Houdr\'{e}, and Tetali constructed a function over a cycle that they conjectured to be optimal for the subgaussian constant, and it was proven correct for cycles of even length by Sammer and Tetali. This work appears in the manuscript https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.09725 .

Sub-optimality of local algorithms for some problems on sparse random graphs

Series
Combinatorics Seminar
Time
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 15:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 005
Speaker
Mustazee RahmanMIT
Suppose we want to find the largest independent set or maximal cut in a sparse Erdos-Renyi graph, where the average degree is constant. Many algorithms proceed by way of local decision rules, for instance, the "nibbling" procedure. I will explain a form of local algorithms that captures many of these. I will then explain how these fail to find optimal independent sets or cuts once the average degree of the graph gets large. There are some nice connections to entropy and spin glasses.

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