Fall 2012, Thursdays, Milner 216, 4:00-4:50 PM

Date: September 13

"  The Omnipresent Catalan Numbers "
  Mitch Phillipson  


First described by Euler in the 18th century, the Catalan numbers make an appearance in almost every branch of mathematics. The extent of the Catalan numbers is best portrayed by Richard Stanley in his book Enumerative Combinatorics: Volume 2, where one 66 part problem is to prove 66 different sets are enumerated by the Catalan numbers (this has been extended to over 40 additional pages worth of problems on his website . This talk will develop the Catalan numbers and work some (not all) of the problems introduced by Stanley. The talk will be completely self contained and should be quite relaxing.