18.218   M.I.T.   Spring 2018

18.204    Undergraduate Seminar in Discrete Mathematics

Class meets: MWF   1 pm   Room 2-146  

Instructor: Alexander Postnikov  

Course webpage: http://math.mit.edu/~apost/courses/18.204/

Description: Seminar in combinatorics, graph theory, and discrete mathematics in general. Participants read and present papers from recent mathematics literature. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided.

Course Level: Undergraduate


What is the next step?

Ideas for topic of your first presentation:

Ideas for your second presentation:


  1. W 02/07/2018. Introduction.

    First presentations:

  2. F 02/09/2018. Alex Postnikov: How to count by cyclic shifts?

  3. M 02/12/2018. Jackie Bredenberg: Stable marriage theorem.

  4. W 02/14/2018. Annika Kim: Gambler's ruin.

  5. F 02/16/2018. Jingyu Li: Card shuffling.

    M 02/19/2018. Presidents day - no class

  6. T 02/20/2018 (MONDAY SCHEDULE). Rachel Wu: Cayley's formula for trees.

  7. W 02/21/2018. Yilin Wang: Applications of generating functions.

  8. F 02/23/2018. Lee Bernick: Tiling rectangles + Electrical networks.

  9. M 02/26/2018. Josh Brunner: Expected card draw in Dominion.

  10. W 02/28/2018. Nicole Chesnokov: Friendship Theorem.

  11. F 03/02/2018. Sicong Shen: Arrow's Impossibility Theorem.

  12. M 03/05/2018. Arjun Mithal: Discrete Stochastic Processes.

  13. W 03/07/2018. Nestor Chachamis: Completing Latin Squares.

  14. F 03/09/2018. Timothy Ngotiaoco: Impartial Games (Sprague-Grundy).

  15. M 03/12/2018. Camilo Espinosa: Generating functions.

  16. W 03/14/2018. Julie Zhang: PHP, Pi, and Pie.

  17. F 03/16/2018. Workshop on how to make a clear and interesting presentation by Susan Ruff.

  18. M 03/19/2018. Jenny Jin: Art gallery problem.

  19. W 03/21/2018. Timothee Schoen: Fermat's First Theorem.

    Second presentations:

  20. F 03/23/2018. Rachel Wu: Unavoidable patterns in words.

    M-F 03/26/2018 - 03/30/2018. (-: Spring Vacation :-)

  21. M 04/02/2018. Jackie Bredenberg: Probabilistic proof of the formula for Young tableaux.

  22. W 04/04/2018. Josh Brunner: A position in infinite chess with game value omega^4.

    Lee Bernick: Erdos-Renyi random graphs.

  23. F 04/06/2018. Annika Kim: Linear-time option pricing algorithms by combinatorics.

    Timothy Ngotiaoco: Evaluating the Nim-Value of Hackenbush.

  24. M 04/09/2018. Arjun Mithal: Roman domination in graphs.

    Jingyu Li: Sperner property.

  25. W 04/11/2018. Nestor Chachamis: A simple proof of Erdos-Ko-Rado theorem.

  26. F 04/13/2018. *****

    M 04/16/2018. Patriots day - no class.

  27. W 04/18/2018. Julie Zhang: Chromatic polynomials.

    Timothee Schoen: The 100 prisoners problem.

  28. F 04/20/2018. Nicole Chesnokov: Friendship paradox.

    Camilo Espinosa: Applications of the probabilistic method.

  29. M 04/23/2018. Sicong Shen: Sperner's lemma and rental harmony.

    Jenny Jin: Bertrand's ballot problem.

    Third presentations (presentations of final papers):

  30. W 04/25/2018. Lee Bernick: Generalized random graph models.

  31. F 04/27/2018. Camilo Espinosa: Symmetric Lovasz local lemma.

  32. M 04/30/2018. Nestor Chachamis: Bounds on Ramsey numbers.

    Rachel Wu: Unavoidable patterns in words, part 2.

  33. W 05/02/2018. Jackie Bredenberg: Counting via bijections with Young tableaux.

  34. F 05/04/2018. Annika Kim: Using combinatorics to price options in linear time.

  35. M 05/07/2018. Arjun Mithal: Analyzing optimal play in the Chow-Robbins formulation.

  36. W 05/09/2018. Timothy Ngotiaoco: The spectral characterization of simply-laced Dynkin diagrams.

    Josh Brunner: The mate in n problem in infinite chess for finite positions is decideable.

  37. F 05/11/2018. Jenny Jin: Analysis and applications of Burnside's lemma.

    Jingyu Li: Exploitability and GTO strategies in poker.

  38. M 05/14/2018. Nicole Chesnokov: Extensions of the art gallery problem: Chromatic coloring and mobile guards.

    Sicong Shen: The First Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics.

  39. W 05/16/2018. Timothee Schoen: General case of the 100 prisoners problem.

    Julie Zhang: Chromatic polynomials for hypergraphs.

Term papers:

last updated: May 14, 2018