# Tagged Questions

Combinatorial geometry is concerned with combinatorial properties and constructive methods of discrete geometric objects. Questions on this topic are on packing, covering, coloring, folding, symmetry, tiling, partitioning, decomposition, and illumination problems.

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### Gerrymandering on a high-genus surface/can I use my powers for evil?

Somewhat in contrast to this question. Let's say the Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that the upper and lower roads of an overpass need not be in the same congressional district. This makes ...
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### Cutting up a circle to make a square

We know that there is no paper-and-scissors solution to Tarski's circle-squaring problem (my six-year-old daughter told me this while eating lunch one day) but what are the closest approximations, if ...
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### Expected length of the shortest polygonal path connecting random points

$N$ points are selected in a uniformly distributed random way in a disk of a unit radius. Let $L(N)$ denote the expected length of the shortest polygonal path that visits each of the points at least ...
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### square cake with raisins

Alice bakes a square cake, with $n$ raisins (= points). Bob cuts $p$ square pieces. They are axis-aligned, interior-disjoint, and each piece must contain at least $2$ raisins. Note that a single ...
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### Can Three Equilateral Triangles with Sidelength $s$ Cover A Unit Square?

A previous question on the site asked for a short proof of the fact that three equilateral triangles with unit side length cannot be arranged to cover a square with unit side lengths. Given the truth ...
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### Geometric way to view the truncated braid groups?

This is perhaps a vague question, but hopefully there exists literature on the subject. The question is motivated by an answer I gave to this question. I also asked a related question on MO, although ...
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### How many planar arrangements of $n$ circles?

Is there a known formula or recursion for the number of distinct arrangements of $n$ distinct circles in a plane, where two arrangements are regarded as distinct unless one can be obtained from the ...
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### Maximum $C$ such that every shape in $\Bbb R^2$ with area $<C$ can be placed to avoid $\Bbb Z^2$

For $C=1$, it has been proved here that every shape in the plane having area less than $1$ can be translated and rotated so that it does not touch any element of $\mathbb Z^2$. (In fact, for $C=1$, ...
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### How many balls of radius 1 can be packed into a sphere of radius 10?

How I can calculate the maximum number of balls of radius 1 that can be packed into a sphere of radius 10?
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### Circle enclosing all but one of $n$ points

It looks like a simple question but it turns out rather difficult to me. Here is the question: Given $n$ points on the plane, can we always draw a circle that includes exactly $n-1$ of them?
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### How many unit squares can overlap a given unit square without overlapping each other?

How many unit squares can overlap a given unit square without overlapping each other? @calculus has managed to arrange 7 squares (see this GeogebraTube page). This seems like the maximum possible, ...
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### How many different shapes can I make with this toy?

I have the following toy, perhaps some of you have seen it before. It consists of a bunch of cubes with an elastic string in the middle. You can bend it into different shapes like this: Or this: ...
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### 5 moving points in plane, one goes to infinity

Suppose we have $5$ points in plane, each lying on a line for which no three of these lines intersect in one point, and also non of these $5$ points is an intersection point of two lines. At time $t=0$...
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### Coloring $\mathbb R^n$ with $n$ colors always gives us a color with all distances.

I wanted to share a really cool but simple problem. Consider a coloring of the points of $\mathbb R^n$ with $n$ colors. Prove that there is a color $c$ such that for any $r>0$ there are two points ...
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### Biggest Little Polyhedron

The Biggest Little Polygon problem asks for the polygon with greatest area where the largest diameter is 1. Let's add a dimension and find the largest volumes. What is the biggest little polyhedron ...
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### How many hyperplanes does it take to separate $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^m$?

By 'separate', I mean that each point lies in its own little region/cell. For instance, it takes a minimum of $P = 4$ lines to separate $n = 7$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ ($m=2$), assuming that no 3 ...
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### What is the shape of the convex $n$-gon which gives the maximum of a function?

Supposing that the length of every edge of the convex $n$-gon $P_1P_2$$\cdots$$P_n$ is 1, what is the shape of the $n$-gon which gives the maximum of the following function $A_n$? A_n=\sum_{1\le{i}\...
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### Do two closed subsets of $[0, 1]$ with measure $\frac{1}{2}$ intersect?

Let $A$ and $B$ be two closed subsets of $[0,1]$, each with a length of $1/2$. Is it always true that $A\cap B\neq \emptyset$? My intuition is yes, because: Either they intersect in their interior; ...
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### Minimal circle containing set of points

Suppose that there are $n$ points in the plane $x_1, x_2, \dots x_n$, and $C$ is the minimal circle (the circle with the minimal radius) that contains all of them. If there is another point $p$ ...
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### How to prove that $5$ unit hypercubes cannot be positioned to cover a unit hypersphere?

How to prove that $5$ unit hypercubes cannot be positioned to cover a unit hypersphere? The unit hypersphere has hypervolume $\frac{\pi^2}{2} \approx 4.93 \lt 5$ but it seems unlikely that it is ...
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### Counting subsets of lattice points

Let $n\ge 2$, and consider the set of $\binom{n}{2}$ lattice points in the interior of the triangle with vertices $(0,0)$, $(0,n+1)$ and $(n+1,n+1)$. For $r\le \binom{n}{2}$, let $f(n,r)$ be the ...
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### Maximum area of triangle inside a convex polygon

Prove that within any convex polygon of area $A$, there exists a triangle with area at least $cA$, where $c=\tfrac{3}{8}$. Are there any better constants $c$? I'm not sure how to approach this ...
### Is there a non-constant function $f:\mathbb{R}^2 \to \mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$ that sums to 0 on corners of squares?
A problem in the 2009 Putnam asks about functions $f:\mathbb{R}^2 \to \mathbb{R}$ such that whenever $A,B,C,D$ are corners of some square we have $f(A)+f(B)+f(C)+f(D)=0$. Without spoiling the problem ...
Let $n\geq 3$, and consider an $n$-gon, not necessarily convex. What is the minimum number of distinct lines that are formed by sides of the $n$-gon? When $n=3,4,5$ the answer is $3,4,5$ respectively....