Coherent configurations" (CCs) are certain highly regular colorings of the directed complete graph. The concept goes back to Schur (1933) who used it to study permutation groups, and has subsequently been rediscovered in other contexts (block designs,
association schemes, graph canonization).
CCs are the central concept in the "Split-or-Johnson" (SoJ) procedure, one of the main combinatorial components of the speaker's recent algorithm to test graph isomorphism.
Title: Avatars of small cancellation
In general, given a finite presentation of a group, it is very difficult (in fact algorithmically impossible) to understand the group it defines. Small cancellation theory was developped as a combinatorial condition on a presentation that allows one to understand the group it represents. This very flexible construction has many applications to construct examples of groups with specific features.
Title: “The geometry of eigenvalue extremal problems”
Abstract: When we choose a metric on a manifold we determine the spectrum of
the Laplace operator. Thus an eigenvalue may be considered as a functional
on the space of metrics. For example the first eigenvalue would be the fundamental
vibrational frequency. In some cases the normalized eigenvalues are bounded
independent of the metric. In such cases it makes sense to attempt to find
critical points in the space of metrics. In this talk we will survey two cases in