New Perspectives in Colouring and Structure (24w5272)


Alex Scott (University of Oxford)

Carla Groenland (TU Delft)

Bojan Mohar (Simon Fraser University)

Paul Seymour (Princeton University)

Sophie Spirkl (University of Waterloo)


The Banff International Research Station will host the “New Perspectives in Colouring and Structure” workshop in Banff from September 29 - October 4, 2024.

The study of graph colouring is a central theme in combinatorics, with a rich theory and many important open problems. The colouring of graphs also has connections and applications in many other areas, including algorithm design, scheduling and resource allocation, statistical physics, and social choice theory. A common theme in colouring problems is the relationship between chromatic number and graph structure. For instance, one of the oldest problems in graph theory was the celebrated Four Colour Conjecture on colouring planar graphs, which was raised in 1852 and only proved in 1976. A vastly more general conjecture made by Hadwiger in 1943 is still open: if a graph cannot be properly coloured with $k-1$ colours then it must contain the complete graph on $k$ vertices as a minor. In the last few years, there have been some important steps forward on Hadwiger’s Conjecture, and major progress on some of the many other questions on graph colouring, as well as a wide array of new structural tools.

This workshop aims to bring together most of the originators of these new developments, as well as both junior and senior researchers with interests in the field, to explore recent breakthroughs and the new territory they have opened up.

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).