Category Archives: exposition

a post aimed to teach something

Fair games and Artin’s conjecture

A few years ago I described Persi Diaconis’ response to G. H. Hardy’s claim that there is a real dividing line between real and recreational mathematics. (See the report here.) This led from Persi’s first experiments in card shuffling to Artin’s conjecture … Continue reading

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A family of non-synchronizing groups

As I explained recently, according to the O’Nan–Scott Theorem, a finite primitive permutation group either preserves a Cartesian structure, or is of affine, diagonal or almost simple type. In all these types except the last, the action of the group … Continue reading

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The Hall–Paige conjecture

A Latin square of ordern is an n×n array of symbols from an alphabet of size n with the property that each symbol in the alphabet occurs once in each row or column. Two Latin squares L and M are … Continue reading

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Normal

There are various overused terms in mathematics. “Normal” is one of them. Perhaps the four commonest uses are the following: A complex square matrix is normal if it commutes with its conjugate transpose. Normal matrices are precisely the ones which … Continue reading

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Synchronization update

There is some recent news about the synchronization project. Two steps forward have occurred. The set-up Here is a brief recapitulation. Let G be a transitive permutation group on Ω, where |Ω| = n. We say that G is non-synchronizing if there … Continue reading

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A mathematical promenade

I haven’t posted for a while; I have been in China where the firewall allows me to read WordPress but not to post. Normal service now resumed (hopefully). Given four real polynomials, all of which vanish at the origin, suppose … Continue reading

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Dugald Macpherson’s birthday meeting

Still catching up on the backlog: last week I was in Edinburgh for a meeting at ICMS for Dugald Macpherson’s birthday. The ICMS has just moved to new premises at the top of the University of Edinburgh’s new Bayes Centre, … Continue reading

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