## Seminars and Colloquia by Series

### Some recent results in topological graph theory

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 12:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Hein van der HolstEindhoven University of Technology
Each graph can be embedded in 3-space. The problem becomes more interesting if we put restrictions on the type of embedding. For example, a linkless embedding of a graph is one where each pair of vertex-disjoint circuits has linking number equal to zero. The class of all graphs that have a linkless embedding is closed under taking minors. Robertson, Seymour, and Thomas gave the forbidden minors for this class of graphs. Open remained how to find a linkless embedding in polynomial time. In the talk we start with discussing an algorithm to find a linkless embedding.Instead of embedding the graph in 3-space, we could also consider mapping properties of certain superstructures of the graph in 3-space, and, indeed, if this superstructure has not the right mapping properties in 3-space, see whether it has the right one in 4-space, etc. Recently, we introduced for a graph G a new graph parameter \sigma(G), which is defined as the smallest d such that superstructures of G have a zero intersection mapping in d-space. The nicest property of this graph parameter is its independence of the superstructure and thus depends on the graph only. For d=2 and d=3, \sigma(G) \leq d if and only if G is outerplanar and planar, respectively. The graphs G with \sigma(G)\leq 4 are exactly those that have a linkless embedding. In the second part of the talk we will discuss this new graph parameter. (This part is joint work with R. Pendavingh.)

### Pebbling graphs of diameter four

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 12:05 for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Carl YergerSchool of Mathematics, Georgia Tech
Given a configuration of pebbles on the vertices of a connected graph G, a pebbling move is defined as the removal of two pebbles from some vertex, and the placement of one of these on an adjacent vertex. The pebbling number of a graph G is the smallest integer k such that given any configuration of k pebbles on G and any specified vertex v in V(G), there is a sequence of pebbling moves that sends a pebble to v. We will show that the pebbling number of a graph of diameter four on n vertices is at most 3n/2 + O(1), and this bound is best possible up to an additive constant. This proof, based on a discharging argument and a decomposition of the graph into ''irreducible branches'', generalizes work of Bukh on graphs of diameter three. Further, we prove that the pebbling number of a graph on n vertices with diameter d is at most (2^{d/2} - 1)n + O(1). This also improves a bound of Bukh.

### Cubic graphs and universality

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 11:05 for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Stavros GaroufalidisSchool of Mathematics, Georgia Tech

We will consider the problem of counting the number T(n,g) of cubic graphs with n edges on a surface of of genus g, and review was is known in the combinatorial community in the past 30 years, what was conjectured in physics 20 years ago, and what was proven last month in joint work with Thang Le and Marcos Marino, using the Riemann-Hilbert analysis of the Painleve equation. No knowledge of physics or analysis is required.

### The differential equations method for random graph processes

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 12:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Tom BohmanCMU
In this lecture I will introduce the method and sketch some recent applications. The main idea is to exploit a natural connection between the evolution of discrete random processes and continuous functions on the real numbers. Roughly speaking, the method is as follows: Given a discrete random process, we calculate the expected change in the random variable (or variables) of interest in one step of the process, write a differential equation suggested by the expected change, and show that the evolution of the random variable over the course of the process is sharply concentrated around the trajectory given by the solution of the differential equation. This allows us to translate simple facts (often combinatorial in nature) about expected changes in one step of the process into strong statements about sharp concentration of the random variable over the entire course of the process.

### Hyperbolic geometry and Jones polynomial of embedded graphs

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, October 9, 2008 - 12:05 for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Roland van der VeenUniversity of Amsterdam
The aim of this talk is to introduce techniques from knot theory into the study of graphs embedded in 3-space. The main characters are hyperbolic geometry and the Jones polynomial. Both have proven to be very successful in studying knots and conjecturally they are intimately related. We show how to extend these techniques to graphs and discuss possible applications. No prior knowledge of knot theory or geometry will be assumed.

### On the inertia set of a graph

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Monday, October 6, 2008 - 11:05 for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Hein van der HolstUniversity of Eindhoven
For an undirected graph G=(V,E) with V={1,...,n} let S(G) be the set of all symmetric n x n matrices A=[a_i,j] with a_i,j non-zero for distinct i,j if and only if ij is an edge. The inertia of a symmetric matrix is the triple (p_+,p_-,p_0), where p_+, p_-,p_0 are the number of positive, negative, and null eigenvalues respectively. The inverse inertia problem asks which inertias can be obtained by matrices in S(G). This problem has been studied intensively by Barrett, Hall, and Loewy. In this talk I will present new results on the inverse inertia problem, among them a Colin de Verdiere type invariant for the inertia set (this is the set of all possible inertias) of a graph, a formula for the inertia set of graphs with a 2-separation, and a formula for the inertia set of the join of a collection of graphs. The Colin de Verdiere type invariant for the inertia set is joint work with F. Barioli, S.M. Fallat, H.T. Hall, D. Hershkowitz, L. Hogben, and B. Shader, and the formula for the inertia set of the join of a collection of graphs is joint work with W. Barrett and H.T. Hall.

### Pebbling graphs of diameter three

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 12:05 for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Luke PostleSchool of Mathematics, Georgia Tech
Given a configuration of pebbles on the vertices of a connected graph G, a pebbling move is defined as the removal of two pebbles from some vertex, and the placement of one of these on an adjacent vertex. A graph is called pebbleable if for each vertex v there is a sequence of pebbling moves so that at least one pebble can be placed on vertex v. The pebbling number of a graph G is the smallest integer k such that G is pebbleable given any configuration of k pebbles on G. We improve on the bound of Bukh by showing that the pebbling number of a graph of diameter 3 on n vertices is at most the floor of 3n/2 + 2, and this bound is best possible. We give an alternative proof that the pebbling number of a graph of diameter 2 on n vertices is at most n + 1. This is joint work with Noah Streib and Carl Yerger.

### Markov bases for series-parallel graphs

Series
Graph Theory Seminar
Time
Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 12:00 for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Location
Skiles 255
Speaker
Sergey NorinMathematics, Princeton University
The problem of generating random integral tables from the set of all nonnegative integral tables with fixed marginals is of importance in statistics. The Diaconis-Sturmfels algorithm for this problem performs a random walk on the set of such tables. The moves in the walk are referred to as Markov bases and correspond to generators of a certain toric ideal. When only one and two-way marginals are considered, one can naturally associate a graph to the model. In this talk, I will present a characterization of all graphs for which the corresponding toric ideal can be generated in degree four, answering a question of Develin and Sullivant. I will also discuss some related open questions and demonstrate applications of the Four Color theorem and results on clean triangulations of surfaces, providing partial answers to these questions. Based on joint work with Daniel Kral and Ondrej Pangrac.