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30th March 2017 @ 6:30 pm
Counting may seem intuitive, but early humans probably had a number awareness which helped them to keep track of their surroundings, rather than the exact counting we think of today. In the continued quest for exactness, the question of “how many” arises as a central issue in many areas of mathematics, physics, and beyond. Due to the difficult nature of some counting problems, it is sometimes helpful to modify the question to “roughly how many,” as an approximate answer is easier to obtain and in many cases sufficient.
In this lecture, I will show the relevance of “how many structures are there of a given kind” in my own areas of speciality such as combinatorics and statistical physics, and how the endeavour to count structures continues to advance research. The focus will be on the counting of paths on a discrete lattice.