Alberta-Montana Combinatorics and Algorithms Day (Cancelled) (20w2245)


(University of Lethbridge)

(University of Alberta)

(University of Montana)

Robert Woodrow (The University of Calgary)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Alberta-Montana Combinatorics and Algorithms Days" workshop in Banff from May 22, 2020 to May 24, 2020.

May 21-22, 2020 will see the first Alberta-Montana Combinatorics and Algorithms Day hosted at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS). The event brings together faculty and students from three Alberta universities (in Calgary, Lethbridge, and Edmonton) and the University of Montana (Missoula). Combinatorics is the branch of mathematics concerned with finite sets: their properties, structures, and number. Studying the classic Rubik's Cube reveals the number of possible positions (it's 43,252,003,274,489,856,000). Understanding the cube's structure leads to efficient algorithms for solving it (an Algorithm is a sequence of well-defined instructions for solving a problem, answering a question, or even playing a game). In 2010, a group of researchers working with Google proved that every one of that staggering number of positions could be solved in no more than 20 moves.

The fields of Combinatorics and Algorithms became inextricably linked at the dawn of the computer age due to computers themselves being finite structures. This meeting offers researchers in these fields an opportunity to share their recent successes, tackle open problems together, and expose their students to the latest methods and developments.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).