Welcome to Combinatorics and Optimization

The C&O department has 33 faculty members and 60 graduate students. We are intensely research oriented and hold a strong international reputation in each of our six major areas:

Read more about the department's research to learn of our contributions to the world of mathematics!

Two Tenure-Track Faculty Positions Available in C&O

Visit our Career opportunities page for more details. 

  1. Nov. 17, 2021Michael J. Best (1946-2021)
    Michael J Best

    We are saddened to announce that our colleague and friend Michael Best, Professor of Combinatorics and Optimization at University of Waterloo, passed away on November 10 after a battle with cancer.

  2. Oct. 13, 2021Fall 2021 convocation
    Convocation Fall 2021

    Five Ph.D. and four M.Math. C&O students will receive their degrees at the Fall 2021 convocation on October 22.

  3. Oct. 7, 2021C&O M.Math. student wins a gold medal at ICPC 2021
    Dmitry Sayutin

    Dmitry Sayutin's team at the ITMO University in St. Petersburg won a gold medal at ICPC 2021.

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  1. Jan. 25, 2022Graphs and Matroids Seminar - Archontia Giannopoulou

    Title: A Matching Theoretic Flat Wall Theorem

    Speaker: Archontia Giannopoulou
    Affiliation: University of Athens
    Zoom: http://matroidunion.org/?page_id=2477 or please email Shayla Redlin


    One of the key theorems in Graph Minors is the Flat Wall Theorem which asserts the existence of a large wall under certain conditions. In this talk, we discuss about graphs with perfect matchings and their relationship with digraphs. Our main focus is on a matching theoretic analogue of the Flat Wall Theorem for bipartite graphs excluding a fixed matching minor.

  2. Jan. 27, 2022Cryptography Reading Group - Pravek Sharma

    Title: Random Self-reducibility of Ideal-SVP via Arakelov Random Walks

    Speaker: Pravek Sharma
    Affiliation: University of Waterloo
    Zoom: Please email Jesse Elliott


    Fixing a number field, the space of all ideal lattices, up to isometry, is naturally an Abelian group, called the *Arakelov class group*. This fact, well known to number theorists, has so far not been explicitly used in the literature on lattice-based cryptography. Remarkably, the Arakelov class group is a combination of two groups that have already led to significant cryptanalytic advances: the class group and the unit torus.

  3. Jan. 27, 2022Algebraic Combinatorics Seminar - Sean Griffin

    Title: Springer fibers and the Delta Conjecture at t=0

    Speaker: Sean Griffin
    Affiliation: UC Davis
    Zoom: Please email Olya Mandelshtam


    Springer fibers are a family of varieties that have remarkable connections to combinatorics and representation theory. Springer used them to geometrically construct all of the irreducible representations of the symmetric group (Specht modules). Moreover, they give a geometric meaning to Hall-Littlewood symmetric functions.

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