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# Category Archives: doing mathematics

## A paradox, and where it led

What is the difference between a contradiction and a paradox? A contradiction is a dead end, a sign that the road leads nowhere and you should turn back and take the other road. A paradox, however, is an invitation to … Continue reading

Posted in doing mathematics, exposition
Tagged Anti-foundation Axiom, Bea Adam-Day, random graph
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## Perfectness of the power graph

The power graph of a group is the graph whose vertices are the group elements (sometimes the identity is excluded but it doesn’t matter here), in which x and y are joined if one is a power of the other. … Continue reading

Posted in doing mathematics, exposition
Tagged commuting graph, Lovász, partial preorder, perfect graph, power graph
1 Comment

## On the Frattini subgroup

I wrote earlier about the Frattini subgroup of a group. It can be defined in either of two ways (as the set of non-generators of a group, the elements which can be dropped from any generating set containing them; or … Continue reading

Posted in doing mathematics, exposition
Tagged Frattini subgroup, G. A. Miller, writing mathematics
4 Comments

## Surprising fun fact

I have just found a proof of the following. Usual caveat: nobody else has read the proof yet, and I have not carefully checked it. Let G be a finite group. The finite group H will be called an inverse … Continue reading

## Integrals of groups revisited

After my trip to Florence in February, I wrote about the work I did there with Carlo Casolo and Francesco Matucci. After Carlo’s untimely death the following month, we were left with many pages of notes from him about the … Continue reading

Posted in doing mathematics, exposition
Tagged Carlo Casolo, derived subgroup, Sofos Efthymios
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## A problem

I seem to have too many balls in the air at the moment. So let me drop one here. Any thoughts very welcome. A k-hypergraph consists of a set X of vertices and a collection of k-element subsets called edges. … Continue reading

## A puzzle

What is the sequence that begins like this? 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 12, 16, 17, 18, 24, 32, 34, 40, 48, 50, 56, 64, 65, 72, 80, 81, 88, 96, 104, 112, 120, 128, 136, 144, 152, 160, … Continue reading

## The geometry of diagonal groups

This is an interim report on ongoing work with Rosemary Bailey, Cheryl Praeger and Csaba Schneider. We have reached a point where we have a nice theorem, even though there is still a lot more to do before the project … Continue reading

Posted in doing mathematics, exposition
Tagged Cartesian lattices, diagonal groups, partitions
8 Comments

## More on derangements

Francis Bacon, in The New Organon, developed a famous metaphor: Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners … Continue reading