- Series
- Joint School of Mathematics and ACO Colloquium
- Time
- Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 11:05am for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
- Location
- Skiles 269
- Speaker
- Bruce Reed – McGill University
- Organizer
- Robin Thomas

The term Probabilistic Method refers to the proof of
deterministic statements using probabilistic tools. Two of the most famous
examples arise in number theory. these are: the first non-analytic proof
of the prime number theorem given by Erdos in the 1940s, and the recent
proof of the Hardy-Littlewood Conjecture (that there are arbitrarily long
arithmetic progressions of primes) by Green and Tao.
The method has also been succesfully applied in the field of graph
colouring. We survey some of the results thereby obtained.
The talk is targeted at a general audience. We will first define graph
colouring, explain the type of graph colouring problems which tend to
attract interest, and then explain the probabilistic tools which are
used
to solve them, and why we would expect the type of tools that are used to
be effective for solving the types of problems typically studied.