September 27, 2011
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.
– S. Gudder
In the spirit of finding practical solutions to complex problems, the Amrita School of Engineering’s Department of Mathematics at Coimbatore hosted the Second India-Taiwan Conference on Discrete Mathematics during September 8-11.
The conference was sponsored by the Indian research organizations including AICTE, CSIR, DST, ISRO, INSA, NBHM as well as the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC).
Over 130 discrete mathematicians, senior professors and young researchers from India and abroad participated.
Known as the mathematical language of computer science; discrete mathematics deals with distinct mathematical structures and separated values involving integers, graphs and statements in logic.
Discrete mathematics began as a branch of combinatorics (the science of counting) and is now commonly used for many practical applications in electrical engineering, physics, chemistry and operations research. It has also made significant contributions to computer science, linguistics and psychology.
A dynamic field, discrete mathematics is not without connections to pure and applied mathematical areas such as algebra, topology and number theory.
“Most importantly, it is the close interplay between discrete mathematics and computer science that has catapulted discrete mathematics into one of the most sought after research areas for mathematicians and computer scientists,” said one participant.
Dr. N. S. Pandian, Dean, Postgraduate and Research Programs, inaugurated the conference. “All modern sciences were initiated by mathematicians,” he noted.
Other featured speakers on the first day included: Prof. R. Balakrishnan, Bharanthidasan University, who highlighted the program’s motivation and aim; and Prof. C. R. Subramainan, Institute of Mathematics, Chennai, who gave the first plenary talk on the complexity of forbidden subgraph colorings.
Later, Prof. G. Ravindra, Prof. S. Arumugam and Prof. Tao-Ming Wang chaired group discussions on graph colorings and Domination Theory.
Group discussions were also conducted on day two and three of the conference. Conference participants enjoyed an Indian classical dance performance by Chennai’s Arathana Dance School and a banquet celebrating Thiruvonam in the evenings.
On the final day, conference secretary Prof. K. Somasundaram from Amrita detailed participant feedback and suggestions. Group discussions were said to have added valuable insights to research projects and problem solving sessions inspired new research proposals with possibility for submission to the Department of Science and Technology.
During the conference, India’s Department of Science and Technology and Taiwan’s National Science Council announced their support for the development of future bilateral programs.
Their agreement paves the way for subsequent India-Taiwan discrete mathematics conferences, workshops and joint research projects.