For seminar listings and events hosted by the Centre for Discrete Mathematics please also visit our listing pages

** **

**16.00-17.00 Wednesday 22nd January, 2014**

**Interdisciplinary Seminar**

**COMBINATORIAL OBJECTS IN RELIABILITY TESTING**

**Speaker: Brett Stevens**

**Location: To be confirmed**

To be followed by a **RECEPTION** in the Maths School Foyer.

**Brett Stevens** was educated at the University of Carleton, *University College London and the University of Toronto. **His M.Sc. **was in mathematical biology and his Ph.D. in mathematics, specifically **combinatorics. He did post-doctoral work at Simon Fraser Universit **and IBM T.J. Watson Laboratories. He is interested in combinatoric **and the interaction of mathematics with other disciplines and culture. **He is Professor in Mathematics at Carleton University.*

**Abstract:** When time constraints prohibit exhaustive testing (all combinations), a frequently used

solution is to test all *s*-wise combinations of parameters for *s* up to a fixed parameter *t*. The most frequent

choice of *t* is 2 but it is not ubiquitous. The fundamental object is called a covering array, and is a generalization of orthogonal arrays. This object and its adaptations to the realities

of testing leads to a host of nice mathematics using combinatorial objects. We will survey these and give a flavour of the methods and

open problems. This will include design theory, probablistic methods, graph homomorphisms, group testing on graphs and hypergraphs, finite

fields and linear feedback shift registers.

**07–10 April 2014**

**BRITISH MATHEMATICAL COLLOQUIUM Queen Mary University of London**

The BMC is the largest annual Pure Mathematics conference in the UK, and BMC 2014 will be its 66-th instalment.