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The Erdős Distance Problem
Julia Garibaldi, Alex Iosevich, University of Rochester, NY, and Steven Senger, University of Missouri-Columbia, MO
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Student Mathematical Library
2011; 150 pp; softcover
Volume: 56
ISBN-10: 0-8218-5281-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-5281-1
List Price: US$29
Institutional Members: US$23.20
All Individuals: US$23.20
Order Code: STML/56
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The Erdős problem asks, What is the smallest possible number of distinct distances between points of a large finite subset of the Euclidean space in dimensions two and higher? The main goal of this book is to introduce the reader to the techniques, ideas, and consequences related to the Erdős problem. The authors introduce these concepts in a concrete and elementary way that allows a wide audience--from motivated high school students interested in mathematics to graduate students specializing in combinatorics and geometry--to absorb the content and appreciate its far-reaching implications. In the process, the reader is familiarized with a wide range of techniques from several areas of mathematics and can appreciate the power of the resulting symbiosis.

The book is heavily problem oriented, following the authors' firm belief that most of the learning in mathematics is done by working through the exercises. Many of these problems are recently published results by mathematicians working in the area. The order of the exercises is designed both to reinforce the material presented in the text and, equally importantly, to entice the reader to leave all worldly concerns behind and launch head first into the multifaceted and rewarding world of Erdős combinatorics.

Readership

Undergraduates, graduate students, and research mathematicians interested in geometric combinatorics and various topics in general combinatorics.

Reviews

"This book...achieves the remarkable feat of providing an extremely accessible treatment of a classic family of research problems. ...The book can be used for a reading course taken by an undergraduate student (parts of the book are accessible for talented high school students as well), or as introductory material for a graduate student who plans to investigate this area further...Highly recommended."

-- M. Bona, Choice

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