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To the uninitiated, algebraic topology might seem fiendishly complex, but its utility is beyond doubt. This brilliant exposition goes back to basics to explain how the subject has been used to further our understanding in some key areas. A number of important results in combinatorics, discrete geometry, and theoretical computer science have been proved using algebraic topology. While the results are quite famous, their proofs are not so widely understood. This book is the first textbook treatment of a significant part of these results. It focuses on so-called equivariant methods, based on the Borsuk-Ulam theorem and its generalizations. The topological tools are intentionally kept on a very elementary level. No prior knowledge of algebraic topology is assumed, only a background in undergraduate mathematics, and the required topological notions and results are gradually explained.
This collection of high-quality articles in the field of combinatorics, geometry, algebraic topology and theoretical computer science is a tribute to Jiří Matoušek, who passed away prematurely in March 2015. It is a collaborative effort by his colleagues and friends, who have paid particular attention to clarity of exposition – something Jirka would have approved of. The original research articles, surveys and expository articles, written by leading experts in their respective fields, map Jiří Matoušek’s numerous areas of mathematical interest.
Geometric combinatorics describes a wide area of mathematics that is primarily the study of geometric objects and their combinatorial structure. This text is a compilation of expository articles at the interface between combinatorics and geometry.
This book explains some recent applications of the theory of polynomials and algebraic geometry to combinatorics and other areas of mathematics. One of the first results in this story is a short elegant solution of the Kakeya problem for finite fields, which was considered a deep and difficult problem in combinatorial geometry. The author also discusses in detail various problems in incidence geometry associated to Paul Erdős's famous distinct distances problem in the plane from the 1940s. The proof techniques are also connected to error-correcting codes, Fourier analysis, number theory, and differential geometry. Although the mathematics discussed in the book is deep and far-reaching, it should be accessible to first- and second-year graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The book contains approximately 100 exercises that further the reader's understanding of the main themes of the book.

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