Bay Area Discrete Math Day, Spring 2005

Bay Area Discrete Math Day, Spring 2005

San Jose State University

SJSU Engineering Building

Engineering Auditorium, Room 189

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Remember: the deadline for registration is Friday, April 1!

Please click here for a conference poster to print, post, and distribute (revised Mar 30).

IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have found an easy way to get free parking for the day. See Directions and parking, below.

The Tenth Bay Area Discrete Math Day (BAD Math Day) will take place on the campus of San Jose State University on Saturday, April 9, 2005, between 10:00am and 6:00pm. All talks will be held in the Engineering Auditorium, Room 189 of the SJSU Engineering Building.

BAD Math Days are one-day meetings aimed at facilitating communication between researchers and graduate students of discrete mathematics around the San Francisco Bay Area. These days happen twice a year and strive to create an informal atmosphere to talk about discrete mathematics. The term "discrete mathematics" is chosen to include at least the following topics: Algebraic and Enumerative Combinatorics, Discrete Geometry, Graph Theory, Coding and Design Theory, Combinatorial Aspects of Computational Algebra and Geometry, Combinatorial Optimization, Probabilistic Combinatorics, and Combinatorics in Mathematical Physics.


Click on talk titles for abstracts; click on speaker names for speaker homepages.

10:00-11:00am Peter Winkler (Dartmouth, visiting MSRI) How random is the human genome?
11:00-11:20am Coffee
11:20-11:50am Nat Thiem (Stanford) Braids and tableaux for unipotent Hecke algebras
12:00-12:30pm Sergi Elizalde (MSRI) Inference functions and sequence alignment
12:30-2:20pm Lunch
2:20-2:50pm Ruchira Datta (Google) PHIL: The Probabilistic Hierarchical Inferential Learner
3:00-3:30pm Sankaran Viswanath (UC Davis) Dynkin diagram sequences, stable tensor products, and representation rings
3:45-4:15pm Elizabeth Wilmer (Oberlin, visiting MSRI) Reversals and transpositions over finite alphabets
4:15-4:45pm Tea
4:45-5:45pm Elwyn Berlekamp (UC Berkeley) Combinatorial games
6:15-8:00pm Dinner


Lunch will be provided for free at the University Club, 8th St. at San Salvador (the southern edge of campus), and coffee and snacks will be provided for free in the Engineering Building. Dinner will be held at House of Siam, in their 55 South Market Street location (between San Fernando and Santa Clara). Dinner will cost $14 for students and $28 for others, plus beverages will be paid separately. (Price revised March 27, sorry about the increase.)

Directions and parking

Quick campus/city map with important landmarks

(map is very much not to scale)

IMPORTANT UPDATE (Mar 30): We have located free parking for BAD Math Day. Several nearby San Jose city lots have free parking all day (see here for a complete list of city parking lots that are free on weekends), most notably the parking lot at 4th St. and San Fernando. To get to that parking lot from I-280:

For directions to the 4th St./San Fernando garage from other highways, see this page of directions to the King Library.

Parking lot instructions and directions to BAD Math: When you enter the garage, take a ticket/slip from the machine at the gate to get in. When you leave, go to the pay stations by the exit and insert the ticket as if you were going to pay; the machine will validate your ticket for free, and you can then use the validated ticket to get through the exit gate.

To get from the garage to BAD Math Day, walk a few blocks east on San Fernando to the SJSU Engineering building, which is on San Fernando just east of 7th St.

Taking public transit to BAD Math Day

It is possible to take public transit to SJSU on BAD Math Day, but it will not be easy.

From SF or the East Bay: Probably the best approach is to take BART to Fremont and transfer to VTA Bus 180; from bus 180, get off at 2nd and Santa Clara, go 1 block south to San Feranando, and 5 blocks east to the Engineering Building at 7th and San Fernando. Bus 180 leaves Fremont BART at 8:15am, arriving 8:32am in San Jose, and 8:55am, arriving 9:32am; return buses leave San Jose (1st and Santa Clara) at 6:34pm, arriving at Fremont at 7:17pm; 7:19pm arriving 8:02pm; and 8:21pm arriving 9:02pm (all times approximate). One-way travel time is around 2 hours from the East Bay, more from SF.

From Santa Clara Valley (from Menlo Park and Palo Alto to San Jose and surroundings): Depending on where you live, you should be able to take the bus or light rail to downtown San Jose; see the VTA website for schedules and details. (For example, VTA Bus 22 goes down El Camino Real from Menlo Park to Palo Alto to Santa Clara to San Jose, stopping within a few blocks of campus; one-way travel time from Palo Alto is about 90 min. Bus 22 runs roughly every 15 minutes, from very early in the morning until fairly late at night.)

From SF or the Peninsula: It is possible, but not recommended, to take Caltrain to San Jose Diridon, and transfer to VTA Bus 63, which stops at campus. This is not recommended because you will need to take the first train of the morning and wait in the train station for almost an hour, and then either miss the last talk to catch the last bus 63, or, if you stay for dinner, hitch a ride with someone to the train station and then wait until the 10:30 train. Probably you should carpool; please e-mail Tim Hsu ( if you're interested in doing so and you don't have a natural group to go with.


No registration fee will be charged, but please RSVP to the local organizer, Tim Hsu (, by
Friday, April 1
so we have an accurate count of who's coming. When you RSVP, please let us know:

Information about previous BAD Math Days is available below. (Apologies: links to abstracts, etc., will mostly not work.)

The BADMath Committee: