Michel Habib, Colin McDiarmid, Jorge Ramirez-Alfonsin and Bruce Reed

Springer
September 27, 2006

Description

The book gives an accessible account of modern probabilistic methods for analyzing combinatorial structures and algorithms. It will be an useful guide for graduate students and researchers.

This introduction to recent developments in algebraic combinatorics illustrates how research in mathematics actually progresses. The author recounts the dramatic search for and discovery of a proof of a counting formula conjectured in the late 1970s: the number of n x n alternating sign matrices, objects that generalize permutation matrices. While it was apparent that the conjecture must be true, the proof was elusive. As a result, researchers became drawn to this problem and made connections to aspects of the invariant theory of Jacobi, Sylvester, Cayley, MacMahon, Schur, and Young; to partitions and plane partitions; to symmetric functions; to hypergeometric and basic hypergeometric series; and, finally, to the six-vertex model of statistical mechanics. This volume is accessible to anyone with a knowledge of linear algebra, and it includes extensive exercises and Mathematica programs to help facilitate personal exploration. Students will learn what mathematicians actually do in an interesting and new area of mathematics, and even researchers in combinatorics will find something unique within Proofs and Confirmations.

The Mathematical Association of America
August 1, 2003

Description

'This book is written in an engaging, conversational style, and this reviewer found it enjoyable to read through (besides learning a few new things). Along the way, there are a few surprises, like the 'world's fastest proof by induction' and a magic trick. As a resource for teaching, and a handy basic reference, it will be a great addition to the library of anyone who uses combinatorial identities in their work.' Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Review

The subject of $q$-series can be said to begin with Euler and his pentagonal number theorem. In fact, $q$-series are sometimes called Eulerian series. Contributions were made by Gauss, Jacobi, and Cauchy, but the first attempt at a systematic development, especially from the point of view of studying series with the products in the summands, was made by E. Heine in 1847. In the latter part of the nineteenth and in the early part of the twentieth centuries, two English mathematicians, L. J. Rogers and F. H. Jackson, made fundamental contributions.In 1940, G. H. Hardy described what we now call Ramanujan's famous $_1\psi_1$ summation theorem as 'a remarkable formula with many parameters'. This is now one of the fundamental theorems of the subject. Despite humble beginnings, the subject of $q$-series has flourished in the past three decades, particularly with its applications to combinatorics, number theory, and physics. During the year 2000, the University of Illinois embraced The Millennial Year in Number Theory. One of the events that year was the conference $q$-Series with Applications to Combinatorics, Number Theory, and Physics. This event gathered mathematicians from the world over to lecture and discuss their research. This volume presents nineteen of the papers presented at the conference. The excellent lectures that are included chart pathways into the future and survey the numerous applications of $q$-series to combinatorics, number theory, and physics.

This book contains essays on Ramanujan and his work , as well as important survey articles in areas influenced by Ramanujan's mathematics. Most of the articles in the book are nontechnical, but even those that are more technical contain substantial sections that will engage the general reader. The book opens with the only four existing photographs of Ramanujan, presenting historical accounts and information about other people in the photos. This section includes an account of a cryptic family history written by his younger brother, S. Lakshmi Narasimhan. Following are articles on Ramanujan's illness by R. A. Rankin, the British physician D. A. B. Young, and Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar. They present a study of his symptoms, a convincing diagnosis of the cause of his death, and a thorough exposition of Ramanujan's life as a patient in English sanitariums and nursing homes.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar,Bruce C. Berndt,Robert Alexander Rankin

American Mathemataical Society
September 5, 1995

Description

The letters that Ramanujan wrote to G. H. Hardy on January 16 and February 27, 1913, are two of the most famous letters in the history of mathematics. These and other letters introduced Ramanujan and his remarkable theorems to the world and stimulated much research, especially in the 1920s and 1930s. This book brings together many letters to, from, and about Ramanujan. The letters came from the National Archives in Delhi, the Archives in the State of Tamil Nadu, and a variety of other sources.Helping to orient the reader is the extensive commentary, both mathematical and cultural, by Berndt and Rankin; in particular, they discuss in detail the history, up to the present day, of each mathematical results in the letters. Containing many letters that have never been published before, this book will appeal to those interested in Ramanujan's mathematics as well as those wanting to learn more about the personal side of his life. "Ramanjuan: Letters and Commentary" was selected for the "Choice" list of Outstanding Academic Books for 1996.