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Cornell University    
  Nov 21, 2017
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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MATH 4410 - Introduction to Combinatorics I

Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Prerequisite: MATH 2210 , MATH 2230 , MATH 2310 , or MATH 2940 . Students will be expected to be comfortable with proofs.


Combinatorics is the study of discrete structures that arise in a variety of areas, particularly in other areas of mathematics, computer science, and many areas of application. Central concerns are often to count objects having a particular property (e.g., trees) or to prove that certain structures exist (e.g., matchings of all vertices in a graph). The first semester of this sequence covers basic questions in graph theory, including extremal graph theory (how large must a graph be before one is guaranteed to have a certain subgraph) and Ramsey theory (which shows that large objects are forced to have structure). Variations on matching theory are discussed, including theorems of Dilworth, Hall, König, and Birkhoff, and an introduction to network flow theory. Methods of enumeration (inclusion/exclusion, Möbius inversion, and generating functions) are introduced and applied to the problems of counting permutations, partitions, and triangulations.

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