MTH 353: Advanced Topics in Discrete Applied Mathematics: Applied Algebraic Combinatorics
Offered Spring 2014, Smith College
DNA and RNA can each be represented as a sequence of letters (nucleotides). Combinatorial properties of these sequences—the order of the letters, matchings between sequences or within a sequence—have important biological implications. This course will focus on these combinatorial properties, studying different kinds of permutation groups, their generators, and their Cayley graphs. Time permitting, we will also study noncrossing matchings and their relationship with permutation groups. We will emphasize applications to molecular biology, and will describe open questions. Prerequisites: 153 (Discrete Math) and 233 (Modern Algebra) or permission of the instructor. No biology background needed.