Mitacs/PIMS/SFU Summer School for Undergraduates in Algebraic Graph Theory

  • Start Date: 07/02/2012
  • End Date: 07/27/2012
Matt DeVos and Chris Godsil

Simon Fraser University


Algebraic Graph Theory


The Mitacs-PIMS-SFU Summer School for Undergraduates in Algebraic Graph Theory is an intensive program for Canadian and International students. The core of the program is a course which provides a thorough introduction to the interaction between graphs and algebra. Students will also learn to use Sage and be given an opportunity to do some exploration and research on their own.



The centrepiece of this program is an intensive course in Algebraic Graph Theory. Over the first two weeks, this will feauture 3 hours a day of instruction together with daily homework assignments. We wish to promote collaboration and group work, so we encourage students to work together on these problems. Furthermore, we will be introducing students to the mathematical programming language Sage, and we will use this as an educational aid. Indeed, both our instruction, and homework assignments will incorporate this exciting tool.


Overall, the course will cover the basics of a graduate level introduction to Algebraic Graph Theory. This includes a thorough development of the theory of vertex transitive graphs, an introduction to strongly regular graphs, designs, and other important combinatorial structures. Additionally, we will highlight interactions between this subject and Structural Graph Theory and Additive Number Theory.



During the second two weeks of the program the course load will gradually diminish and students will begin working on group research projects. Our goal will be to use Sage to aid us in the search for exceptional combinatorial structures. Although it is difficult to make significant strides in such a short period of time, there is great value in working on research problems, and our hope is that this may pave the way for future (if not present!) mathematical discoveries.



This course will be listed for credit at SFU as MATH 398. Students from external universities may be able to obtain course credit as well. Please contact for further details. Those students taking this course for credit will be given an examination during the final week.



Applicants must have successfully completed a course in LinearAlgebra as well as at least one course in Graph Theory and/or Abstract Algebra.


Academic Credit

The course is listed as special topics class (for credit) at SFU. Students from other universities may be able to obtain transfer credit.



Other Information: 


The Summer School will take place in the PIMS facility at Simon Fraser University. This is located in rooms 8510-8514 of the TASC 2 Building at SFU (Burnaby Campus). This facility includes both a lecture hall for classes as well as a computer lab.


Accepted participants from outside the Vancouver area will be offered on-campus housing in the SFU dormitories free of charge. Meals are not included, but there are many affordable dining options both on-campus and in the neighbouring residential community Univercity.



Accepted external students will receive housing and possible travel assistance.



Application deadline is March 16. 

Please see the application instructions if you want to apply for admission to the program.



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