Math 320 (Fall 2017): Combinatorics
Instructor: Mahir Bilen Can
Office: Gibson Hall 318 A
Office Hours: Mondays 3 to 4pm

What is combinatorics about:

Combinatorics is the theory of enumerating, manipulating, breaking apart and then reorganizing of "discrete" structures. In this sense, it is a branch of algebra but it applies to many fields of mathematics especially to geometry and representation theory

What is this course about:

  • Permutations, partitions, and generating series,
  • Symmetric functions and tableaux,
  • Polya's cycle enumeration theorem and its applications.


  • Generatingfunctionology by Herbert Wilf,
  • Counting with symmetric functions by Anthony Mendes and Jeff Remmel.


There will be two in-class midterms and two take-home exams. The dates of these exams are as follows
  • 1st in-class exam: September 29 (Friday)
  • 2nd in-class exam: October 30 (Monday)
  • 1st take-home exam: November 20 (Monday) - November 21 (Tuesday)
  • 2nd take-home exam: December 8 (Friday) - December 11 (Monday)
I will not collect homework, however, I will suggest problems at the end of each week and you will be responsible for presenting your solutions sometime during following week.