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Is graph theory an interesting option course?

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  • Thread starter quarky2001
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm in my 4th year of a physics program, and I've got some serious freedom choosing courses now.

Has anyone taken graph theory? I've got a basic idea what it is, but no clue how difficult it might be.

Any other good math courses to take as an option that won't bee too difficult?

For prerequisites, I have:
- 2 courses linear algebra
- 4 courses integral calculus
- 2 courses differential equations
- 1 course complex analysis
- 1 course group theory
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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You should probably find out if the graph theory course you are thinking about taking is more proof oriented or computational....just as a precaution as it appears that you haven't had any formal proof writing courses. Of course, you might have gotten the gist of formal math proofs from group theory and linear algebra but i wouldn't like to assume that.
 
  • #3
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If you are interested in computer science you may find it interesting and useful. If you like more discrete areas of mathematics like combinatorics you may like graph theory. If you do not like these areas, you might be let down by graph theory, but not necessarily.

In graph theory you will probably notice some similarities with group theory (at least in terms of feel and some basic concepts). Isomorphism of graphs is an important concept. There will possibly be a tendency to be more algorithmic and constructive with proofs, meaning that you may have to actually describe/construct an algorithm that accomplishes a goal rather than simply prove that the goal is possible or necessarily do-able.

The wikipedia gives a reasonable overview. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graph_theory#Enumeration

Just read it and do a wiki crawl and see if you think it sounds good. Maybe get a book on discrete mathematics out and check out the graph theory section.
 

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