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Josh Laison Puzzles in Geometric Graph Theory

Via Zoom at 7:30 pm May 9, 2023

https://scu.zoom.us/j/92100692247?pwd=c0dXSkhuR284b2xNZkwvVU1zaXl3QT09

Please join meeting between 7:15 and 7:30 pm

Meeting ID: 921 0069 2247
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Meeting ID: 921 0069 2247

I want to tell you about a bunch of fun new math puzzles about making networks out of geometric shapes like rectangles and triangles. Starting with some arrangement of rectangles, we can make a rule for whether two rectangles are connected with an edge in the network. The two standard rules are, (i) the rectangles have an edge if they overlap (called an intersection graph) or (ii) the rectangles have an edge if they can see each other (called a visibility graph). I’ve explored a number of versions of these puzzles with student research groups over the past several years. One amazing thing about these problems is how many of them are unexplored, leading us to new questions nobody has asked before. I hope to share my excitement with you about the beautiful patterns we’ve found, and keep finding, in everyday geometric objects, and give you a chance to discover some yourself.

Josh Laison is a professor of mathematics at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He does research in graph theory and discrete geometry, and studies shapes and how they fit together. He likes solving mathematical puzzles, and has co-organized the recreational math conference The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects several times. He enjoys getting his students involved in research, and has collaborated with many groups of students. When Josh isn’t doing math, you might find him with his family playing one of their 374 board games.