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The Combinatorics and Optimization square

The Combinatorics and Optimization square: A history

Image of Combinatorics and Optimization square.While an undergraduate student at Cambridge in the 1930's, William Tutte, along with Cedric Smith, Leonard Brooks, and Arthur Stone, established deep results on "squaring the square" - finding dissections of squares into squares of unequal sizes. The smallest such dissection of a square is now known to contain 21 subsquares (illustrated in the cross-stitch creation on the right by C&O PhD student CynthiaImage of cross-stiched Combinatorics and Optimization square Rodriguez Villalobos), the smallest dissection of the square found by Tutte and his friends was a bit larger. The square used today is a dessection of a 33 by 32 rectangle into 9 unequal squares.

Does it look familiar to you? This square is found throughout our department as an unofficial logo. Specifically used as stickers for newcomers to welcome them into the fold!