Department: Mathematical Sciences
University System: University of Montana - Missoula
As a mathematician, I study matroids, which are abstractions of finite graphs, geometries or sets of vectors. While matroids are abstract structures, they are exactly what specifies if the greedy algorithm will work. Thus, matroids arise naturally in optimization. Matroids are a part of a branch of mathematics called Combinatorics. Techniques in combinatorics allow us to find the shortest route between two cities, to schedule airplanes (or buses or whatever) in an optimal manner and to schedule workers to jobs (classes to final exam slots or...) optimally.