Potential 4th year projects 2018
This page is just to give some ideas of potential suitable projects.
Variants on this topic may be possible. I will accept at most two
students per year over all projects.
Tropical geometry. Tropical Geometry is an emerging area at the
intersection of algebraic geometry and polyhedral combinatorics with
applications to other areas. At its most basic, it is geometry where
addition and multiplication are replaced by minimum and addition
respectively. This turns familiar geometric objects, such as circles,
into piecewise linear objects, which can be studied using
This project would be to investigate recovering invariants of plane
curves using these ideas.
It was recently shown that there is a bound B(r,d) on the degrees of a
Grobner basis of an ideal generated by r polynomials of degree at most
d (not depending on of the number of variables), but the value of this
bound is not know in most cases. This project would be to understand
some of the proofs of this fact, and investigate some special cases of
Matroids are a combinatorial abstraction of linear algebra, and also
of parts of graph theory. I have two potential 4th year projects in
this area. One is to understand the theory of valuated matroids,
which is a further generalization. The other is to understand
realization spaces of matroids. Both could have connections to
algebraic geometry, depending on the taste of the student. These
project would suit someone who liked the combinatorics or
combinatorial optimisation modules, but these are not prerequisites.