SCIENCE PUB: MESMERIZING MATH – Erdos-Ko – Rado, How I Love You So
Our wildly popular Science Pub Series has returned for a 10th incredible season. Enjoy lectures on scientific topics of general interest in our Arizona Room over fine craft beer and award-winning pub cuisine. The room opens at 5:00 PM. Avoid disappointment and come down early for dinner and a pint before the presentation which begins at 7:00 PM. This month’s lecture will be presented by Dr. Karen Meagher from the University of Regina Mathematics & Statistics Department. In this talk I will introduce my favourite theorem, the Erdos-Ko-Rado theorem. This theorem describes the largest collection of subsets (all of the same size) you can build with the extra condition that any two of the subsets have at least one element in common. I will show how this theorem gives us an efficient way to test if a network of switches is working properly. Beyond applications, this is a very famous theorem that is a corner stone result in an area of math called “extremal set theory”. One of the reasons that I like this theorem is that there are many different proofs that use different types of math and there are many generalizations and extensions. I will outline some of these different approaches and generalizations in my talk.