Outstanding Challenges in Combinatorics on Words (12w5068)


(The University of Winnipeg)

(University of Waterloo)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Outstanding Challenges in Combinatorics on Words" workshop from February 19th to February 24th, 2012.

Abstract sequences of symbols arise in studying such disparate topics as DNA sequencing, the compression of computer data, the digits of Pi and algebraic equations. Combinatorics on words is the relatively new area of discrete mathematics that studies the avoidable or unavoidable regularities in such sequences. Problems of combinatorics on words, like those of number theory, can deceptively simple to state, but notoriously difficult to unravel. Recent breakthroughs, however, like the resolution of the decades-old Dejean's Conjecture, have led to a new interest and momentum in this area. This workshop brings together world experts in the various flavours of combinatorics on words to identify, attack, and even solve some of the outstanding problems of this field.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).