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Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

Events - 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020 — 1:30 PM EDT

Title: One Dollar Each Eliminates Envy

Speaker: Vishnu V. Narayan
Affiliation: McGill University
Zoom: Contact Sharat Ibrahimpur


We study the fair division of a collection of $m$ indivisible goods amongst a set of $n$ agents. Whilst envy-free allocations typically do not exist in the indivisible goods setting, envy-freeness can be achieved if some amount of a divisible good (money) is introduced.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 — 2:30 PM EDT

Title: An Upper Bound on Graphical Partitions

Speaker: Steve Melczer
Affiliation: UQAM/CRM
Zoom Contact Karen Yeats


An integer partition is called graphical if it can be realized as the size-ordered degree sequence of a simple graph (with no loops or multiple edges).  In his 1736 paper on the Königsberg bridge problem, arguably the origin of graph theory, Euler gave a necessary condition for a partition to be graphical: its sum must be even.

Friday, June 5, 2020 — 3:30 PM EDT

Lauren K. Williams

Title: Matroids, tropical geometry, and positivity

Speaker: Lauren K. Williams
Affiliation: Harvard University & Radcliffe Institute
Zoom: Please email Emma Watson.


The theory of matroids -- a class of combinatorial objects which simultaneously generalize graphs as well as vectors in a vector space -- was pioneered by William Tutte in his 1948 PhD thesis. Matroids are also closely connected to the Grassmannian and the tropical Grassmannian.  In recent years, mathematicians and physicists have been exploring positive notions of all of these objects, finding applications to scattering amplitudes and shallow water waves.  In my talk I will give an introduction to matroids, tropical geometry, and positivity, and survey some of the beautiful results and applications.

Friday, June 5, 2020 — 1:00 PM EDT

Title: A Strongly Polynomial Label-Correcting Algorithm for Linear Systems with Two Variables per Inequality

Speaker: Cedric Koh
Affiliation: London School of Economics and Political Science
Zoom: Contact Sharat Ibrahimpur


In this talk, I will present a strongly polynomial label-correcting algorithm for solving the feasibility of linear systems with two variables per inequality. The algorithm is based on the Newton–Dinkelbach method for fractional combinatorial optimization, and extends previous work of Madani (2002).

Thursday, June 4, 2020 — 2:30 PM EDT

Title: Weighted generating functions for weighted chord diagrams

Speaker: Lukas Nabergall
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Zoom: Contact Karen Yeats


Motivated by the universal property of the Connes-Kreimer Hopf algebra of rooted trees and Hopf subalgebras arising from so-called combinatorial Dyson-Schwinger equations, we introduce a class of two-variable recursive functional equations involving Hochschild 1-cocycle operators.

Friday, May 29, 2020 — 3:30 PM EDT

Title: Symmetry of random graphs

Speaker: Jane Gao
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Zoom: Please email Emma Watson


A graph is said asymmetric if its automorphism group contains only the identity permutation. Otherwise, it is said symmetric. In this talk we will survey symmetry of Erdos-Renyi random graphs, of random regular graphs, and of random graphs with moderate degree sequences.

Thursday, May 28, 2020 — 2:30 PM EDT

Title: The e-positivity of chromatic symmetric functions

Speaker: Steph van Willigenburg
Affiliation: University of British Columbia
Zoom: Contact Karen Yeats


The chromatic polynomial was generalized to the chromatic symmetric function by Stanley in his seminal 1995 paper. This function is currently experiencing a flourishing renaissance, in particular the study of the positivity of chromatic symmetric functions when expanded into the basis of elementary symmetric functions, that is, e-positivity.

Thursday, May 21, 2020 — 2:30 PM EDT

Title: Nakajima quiver varietites and irreducible components of Springer fibers

Speaker: Mee Seong
Affiliation: United States Military Academy and Army Research Laboratory
Zoom: Contact Karen Yeats


Springer fibers and Nakajima quiver varieties are amongst the most important objects in geometric representation theory. While Springer fibers can be used to geometrically construct and classify irreducible representations of Weyl groups, Nakajima quiver varieties play a key role in the geometric representation theory of Kac--Moody Lie algebras.

Friday, May 15, 2020 — 3:30 PM EDT

Zoom (for information email

Title: Permanent Hardness from Linear Optics

Speaker: Daniel Grier
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Location: Online (Zoom)


One of the great accomplishments in complexity theory was Valiant's 1979 proof that the permanent of a matrix is #P-hard to compute.  Subsequent work simplified Valiant's ideas and even began to recast them as problems in quantum computing.  In 2011, this culminated in a striking proof by Aaronson, based solely on quantum linear optics, of the #P-hardness of the permanent.

Thursday, May 14, 2020 — 10:00 AM EDT

Title: Combinatorial masters in QED

Speaker: Oliver Schnetz
Affiliation: Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen
Zoom: Contact Karen Yeats


Calculations in perturbative QED (and also in QCD) use a reduction from Feynman integrals to `master integrals'. In general, the reduction to master integrals is performed by excessive use of computer power.

Friday, May 8, 2020 — 3:30 PM EDT

Zoom (for information email

Title: Hardness of set-partitioning formulation for the vehicle routing problem with stochastic demands

Speaker: Ricardo Fukasawa
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Location: Online (Zoom)


The vehicle routing problem considers the cheapest way to serve a set of customers using a fixed set of vehicles. When a vehicle serves a customer, it picks up its demand which is given as an input, and the total demand picked up cannot exceed the vehicle’s capacity. This classical combinatorial optimization problem combines aspects of routing (like a traveling salesman problem) and packing (like a knapsack problem).

Friday, March 13, 2020 — 3:30 PM EDT

Title: Widths in even-hole-free graphs

Speaker: Nicolas Trotignon
Affiliation: École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
Room: MC 5501


Historically, the study of even-hole-free graphs is motivated by the analogy with perfect graphs. The decomposition theorems that are known for even-hole-free graphs are seemingly more powerful than the ones for perfect graphs: the basic classes and the decompositions are more restricted.

Friday, March 13, 2020 — 1:00 PM EDT


Speaker: Harry Sivasubramaniam
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5417


Differential privacy is about preserving an individuals privacy while maintaining utility in the context of data analysis.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 — 4:00 PM EDT

Title: Improving the general upper bound for Hadwiger's conjecture

Speaker: Luke Postle
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5479


In 1943, Hadwiger conjectured that every K_t-minor-free graph has chromatic number at most t-1.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 — 2:30 PM EDT

Title: Proof of the monotone column permanent conjecture

Speaker: David Wagner
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5417


In 1993, Jim Haglund conjectured the following.  If  A  is a  square matrix of real numbers which are weakly decreasing down each column, and J is the all-ones matrix of the same size, then the permanent of the matrix xJ+A is a polynomial with only real roots.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 — 8:42 AM EDT

Title: Rectangular Catalan Algebraic Combinatorics

Speaker François Bergeron
Affiliation LACIM - Université du Québec à Montréal
Room MC 5501


The enumeration of Dyck-like lattice paths in a m x n rectangle has a long and fruitful history culminating in Bizley-Grossman’s formula (1954). We will discuss how it is natural to extend this formula to weighted enumeration, with parameters accounting for such statistics as area; and to consider parking-function analogs.

Friday, March 6, 2020 — 3:30 PM EST

Title: Binary Submatroids

Speaker: Peter Nelson
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5501


A binary matroid can be thought of as a set of nonzero binary vectors.

Friday, March 6, 2020 — 1:00 PM EST

Title: Recognizing slack matrices

Speaker: Matt Gerstbrein
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5417


This week, we will be discussing the topic of slack matrices. Slack matrices arise in the context of lifts of polytopes, where, given a polytope P, we can characterize the existence of a lift of P of a given size in terms of properties of an associated slack matrix.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 — 2:30 PM EST

Title: Combinatorial Hall algebras

Speaker: Matt Szczesny
Affiliation: Boston University
Room: MC 5417


The Hall algebra of a finitary category is an associative (and sometimes Hopf) algebra whose structure constants count the number of extensions between objects.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 — 1:00 PM EST

Title: Strongly cospectral vertices in cubelike graphs

Speaker: Soffia Arnadottir
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5417


A cubelike graph is a Cayley graph of the elementary abelian 2-group. Two vertices in a graph are strongly copsectral if they are cospectral and parallel.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 — 2:00 PM EST

Title: Vertex-minors and sparsity

Speaker: Rose McCarty
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5479


We discuss an ongoing project with Jim Geelen and Paul Wollan to describe the structure of graph classes excluding a vertex-minor.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 — 1:15 PM EST

Title: Introduction to Monotone Operators

Speaker: Naomi Graham
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5501


This talk will be an entry level introduction to the theory of monotone operators as they are presented in Bauschke and Combette’s Convex Analysis and Monotone Operator Theory in Hilbert Spaces.

Friday, February 28, 2020 — 3:30 PM EST

Title: Parallel strategies for SIDH: towards computing SIDH twice as fast

Speaker: Francisco Rodríguez-Henríquez
Affiliation: CINVESTAV-IPN
Room: MC 5501


Over the last ten years, there has been an intense research effort to find hard mathematical problems that would be presumably hard to solve by a quantum attacker and at the same time could be used to build reasonably efficient public-key cryptoschemes.

Friday, February 28, 2020 — 1:00 PM EST

Title: An Introduction to the Circuits of Polyhedra, The Circuit Diameter, and Their Applications

Speaker: Sean Kafer
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5417


The combinatorial diameter of a polyhedron P is the maximum value of a shortest path between two vertices of P, where the path moves along edges of P. Its study is motivated largely by its implications on the running time of the Simplex algorithm.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 — 4:00 PM EST

Title: Excluding an asymmetric group labelled graph

Speaker: Farbod Yadegarian
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Room: MC 5479


There are several models of group labelled graphs. In the simpler, undirected model, for an abelian group Γ, every edge e receives a label γ(e) in Γ. 


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