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Colloquium: Karen Meagher, "My (Mathematical) Problems with Computer Scientists," Nov. 28, 3:30 pm, CL 410 (Expired)


SPEAKER:     Dr. Karen Meagher, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Regina

DATE:            Monday November 28, 2011

TIME:             3:30 pm

PLACE:          CL 410

            My (Mathematical) Problems with Computer Scientists


The theme of this talk is, as the title suggests, problems and projects that I worked on with computer scientists. I will give a general introduction to these projects and outline some the results we have found and further directions for the research that is more mathematical in nature.

The first projects that I will discuss have to do with covering arrays. These are a design with real applications to testing networks and software. I will start with a general introduction to these designs and then I will outline a construction and a generalization of these designs on which I worked.

Covering arrays have many practical applications, but there are also many interesting pure mathematical problems that arise from them. For example, some of the bounds on the size covering arrays come from theorems from extremal set theory, such as Sperner's theorem and the Erdos-Ko-Rado theorem. I will explain how these bounds are determined and show how we need to generalize these theorems to deal with all covering arrays. Finally I will also discuss a different
generalization of Sperner's theorem; this is current project that I am working on with a computer scientist.

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