Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Huh? Part deux

The graphs that the grad student will be talking about are not the graphs most of you envision. Unless you happen to be "into" math, a graph is usually the line (or points) you plot using x-y coordinates. Excel produces all sorts of graphs from data you enter - bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, etc. When you think of graphs in this everyday sense, the abstract makes even less sense. It really is a "huh?" moment.

For the record, graph theory is defined at Mathworld as "the mathematical study of the properties of the formal mathematical structures called graphs." Not particularly enlightening. However, go here and read about graphs. This write-up is accessible to all of you although you might want to skip the links to eigenvalues. These graphs are actually pretty neat. I did go to a seminar a couple of years ago that was an introduction to graph theory. We all got to try and work out the bridge problem (you'll have to go to the link to find out what that is).

1 comment:

Teresa said...

ARG! I keep trying to read about the graphs and keep getting pulled away to talk on the phone or... work... I will get it done one of these days!