For questions about Combinatorial design theory, a part of combinatorial mathematics that deals with the existence, construction and properties of systems of finite sets whose arrangements satisfy generalized concepts of balance and/or symmetry. The theory has applications in the area of the design ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
232 views

What is the minimum number of guesses in order to guarantee to win the prize?

Your friend will pick a $4$-letter word and you will make guesses in order to find it. -A word can contain only the letters $A, B, C,\:\text {and} \:D$, and they can be used more than once. ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Combining kindergardeners in 'fair' cookie-baking groups. Kirkman's schoolgirl problem extended version

I am coordinating cookie-baking events with kindergarten kids. This turns out to be a challenging problem, and I could use a little help: We would like a general way of creating 'fair' cookie-baking ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you create projective plane out of a finite field?

I have heard and read unclear mentions of links between projective planes and finite fields. Is it possible to construct a projective plane (or a Steiner system) starting out with a field? Could you, ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Number of combinations such that each pair of combinations has at most x elements in common?

I am doing research on the sense of smell and have a combinatorics problem: I have 128 different odors (n) and I mix them in mixtures of 10 (r). There are 2.26846154e+14 different mixtures. What I ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Steiner triple system with $\lambda \le 1$

What's the maximum number of 3-sized subsets of $[n]$ that can exist such that no two subsets contain more than one common element? When $n \equiv 1,3 \mod 6$ then this is equivalent to a Steiner ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

unbalancing lights

I'm reading the following notes on unbalancing lights, http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~sinclair/cs271/n5.pdf. The question i have is regarding the first page. Where it says Consider a square $n ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

How many different ways can the signs be chosen so that $\pm 1\pm 2\pm 3 … \pm (n-1) \pm n = n+1$?

How many different ways can the signs be chosen so that $\pm 1\pm 2\pm 3 ... \pm (n-1) \pm n = n+1$? This is an extension of this question: For what $n$ can $\pm 1\pm 2\pm 3 ... \pm (n-1) \pm n = ...
5
votes
3answers
530 views

Orthogonal Latin Square 6*6

I need to make remarks about Tarry's Proof for the nonexistence of 6x6 Latin Squares as part of my final exam for a class I'm in. Problem is, I can't find it ANYWHERE on the internet. I can only find ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

A strange scheduling for $K_{24}$.

This question came from a question asked earlier today linked here The question implicitly asked how to make a schedule with his/her class of 24 students such that: 1) Everyday will consist of the ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Choosing sets of vectors on a complex sphere

Consider a complex $t$ dimensional unit sphere. Can we have $t$ sets of $2^t$ vectors $v_{ij}\in \Bbb C^t$ on the sphere where $i=1$ to $t$ and $j=1$ to $2^t$ on this with inner products satisfying ...