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# Category Archives: open problems

## Easy to state, hard to solve?

I described here how Pablo Spiga and I showed that all but finitely many nontrivial switching classes of graphs with primitive automorphism group contain a graph with trivial automorphism group, and found the six exceptions. (The trivial switching classes are … Continue reading

Posted in exposition, open problems
Tagged graphs, homomorphisms, primitive groups, rigid graphs, switching classes, tournaments
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## Categorification, step 1

Today at the St Petersburg meeting, Igor Frenkel talked about categorification. He explained that there are five levels (maybe more!) and one has to take certain steps between them; he illustrated with an example, where level 0 was Jacobi’s Triple … Continue reading

## A small problem

Infinite products are an attractive part of real analysis which has fallen out of many syllabuses. I am concerned here only with infinite products in which the factors are between 0 and 1. The partial products are positive and decreasing, … Continue reading

## Steiner systems

Following Peter Keevash’s asymptotic existence proof for Steiner systems, does anything remain to be done? I would say yes, it certainly does; here are a few thoughts about the open problems in this area. Existence We are looking for a … Continue reading

## Subsets and partitions

There are several packing and covering problems for subsets of a set, which have been worked over by many people. For example, given t, k and n, how many k-subsets of an n-set can we pack so that no t-subset … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, open problems
Tagged primitivity, sections, semigroups, transversals
1 Comment

## A Cayley graph challenge

Greg Cherlin showed that Henson’s graphs are Cayley graphs, so perhaps it is time to look again at the question: Is Covington’s graph a Cayley graph? Here, to start things off, is a simple fact: Covington’s graph G is not … Continue reading

## The sound of problems falling

This month brought news that two problems I posed have been solved. A conjecture of mine was proved by Martin Bridson and Henry Wilton, and another question (which I didn’t feel brave enough to connjecture) has been answered by Greg … Continue reading

## Carries, shuffling, and cocycles

Last week we were treated to a lovely lecture by Persi Diaconis. As he so often does, he started with an elementary question: how many carries do you expect if you add n numbers in base b? From there he … Continue reading

Posted in exposition, open problems
Tagged arithmetic, minimal cocycles, riffle shuffles, Seidel, switching
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## A Shrikhande challenge

I discussed here the problem of covering the m-fold complete graph on n vertices with copies of a given graph G. The smallest strongly regular graph for which I don’t know the answer is the Shrikhande graph. I can copy … Continue reading

## Symmetry versus regularity

In my report on CAMconf, I didn’t mention Laci Babai’s talk, whose title was the same as that of this post. This was a talk that needed some thinking about. I want to describe the situation briefly, and then pose … Continue reading

Posted in events, exposition, open problems
Tagged primitive group, Seidel switching, Steiner system, strongly regular graph, switching class
4 Comments