The University of Michigan Combinatorics Seminar
Winter 2002
March 6, 4:10-5:00, 3866 East Hall

Graph Coloring and Symmetric Functions in Noncommuting Variables

Bruce Sagan

Michigan State University


In 1995, Stanley defined a symmetric function generalization of the chromatic polynomial. Gebhard and Sagan then introduced an analogous function in noncommuting variables which has the advantage of satisfying a deletion-contraction law. These functions are also of interest in their own right. We will survey some of their applications to graph coloring as well as properties of a version of the Schur function in this context.