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Summer Graduate School: Positivity Questions in Geometric Combinatorics

10th June 2017 - 21st July 2017
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, United States


McMullen's g-Conjecture from 1970 is a shining example of mathematical foresight that combined all results available at that time to conjure a complete characterization of face numbers of convex simple/simplicial polytopes. The key statement in its verification is that certain combinatorial numbers associated to geometric (or topological) objects are non-negative. The aim of this workshop is to introduce graduate students to selected contemporary topics in geometric combinatorics with an emphasis on positivity questions. It is fascinating that the dual notions of simple and simplicial polytopes lead to different but equally powerful algebraic frameworks to treat such questions. A key feature of the lectures will be the simultaneous development of these algebraic frameworks from complementary perspectives: combinatorial-topological and convex geometric.

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