Partitions of the Subset Lattice into Intervals

Research Horizons Seminar
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 12:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 171
School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech

(joint work with Csaba Biro, Dave Howard, Mitch Keller and Stephen Young. Biro and Young finished their Ph.D.'s at Georgia Tech in 2008. Howard and Keller will graduate in spring 2010)

Motivated by questions in algebra involving what is called "Stanley" depth, the following combinatorial question was posed to us by Herzog: Given a positive integer n, can you partition the family of all non-empty subsets of {1, 2, ..., n} into intervals, all of the form [A, B] where |B| is at least n/2. We answered this question in the affirmative by first embedding it in a stronger result and then finding two elegant proofs. In this talk, which will be entirely self-contained, I will give both proofs. The paper resulting from this research will appear in the Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A.