Mike Krebs: Research

Publications   Talks and Slideshows


Below is a brief description of my current research; hopefully, it should be comprehensible, even to non-mathematicians. This PowerPoint presentation has a few more details, for a general math audience.

For more details, click the image on the right for our book, Expander Families and Cayley Graphs: A Beginner's Guide, from Oxford University Press.




The theory of expander graphs is a hot topic in mathematics and computer science, and with good reason: these objects enjoy a wide range of applications. Think of a communications network as a graph, by which we mean a collection of dots (vertices) and line segments (edges) connecting them. Each vertex represents a person (or a telephone, or a computer) in the network; two vertices are connected by an edge if they can communicate directly with one another.

  Expander Families and Cayley Graphs  



When designing a communications network, one naturally wishes that any message originating somewhere within it will propagate as rapidly as possible. There are various measurements which describe how well a graph spreads messages. One such quantity is called the spectral gap of the graph. Roughly speaking, the larger the spectral gap is, the better the graph is as a communications network. If one attempts to create regular graphs with more and more vertices but without increasing the degree, the spectral gap may very well become infinitesimally small as the communications networks become poorer and poorer. A family of expander graphs is an infinite sequence of regular graphs, each with the same degree, such that the spectral gap does not vanish altogether in the limit. Roughly speaking, graphs with the best possible spectral gap are called Ramanujan graphs; families of Ramanujan graphs are the most desirable families of expander graphs.



All files below are in pdf format. Some are preprints, not necesarily the final version.

Expander Families and Cayley Graphs: A Beginner's Guide, co-authored by A. Shaheen, published by Oxford University Press

On Cantor's first uncountability proof, Pick's theorem, and the irrationality of the golden ratio. Joint work with T. Wright. Amer. Math. Monthly 117 (2010), no. 7, 633637

mini-Sudokus and Groups. Joint work with C. Arcos (CSULA student) and G. Brookfield. Math. Mag. 83 (2010), no. 2, 111122

How to differentiate an integer modulo n. Joint work with C. Emmons and A. Shaheen. College Mathematics Journal, November 2009.

Toledo invariants of Higgs bundles on elliptic surfaces associated to base orbifolds of Seifert fibered homology 3-spheres. (Appears in Michigan Math. J. Volume 56, Issue 1 (2008), 3-27.)

On the Spectra of Johnson Graphs. Joint work with A. Shaheen. (Appears in Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra, Volume 17, pp. 154-167, March 2008)

Think Around The Box, a crossword puzzle of sorts. The Mathematical Intelligencer, Volume 31, Number 2, 59-60. Here is the solution.

A paper from a student of mine: Fixed Points of Number Derivatives Modulo n by CSULA student F. Bains. Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Journal of Mathematics, vol. 10, issue 1.

A combinatorial trace method: Counting closed paths to assay graph eigenvalues. Joint work with K. Dsouza (CSULA student). Appears in Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics.

K-quasiderivations. (K-quasiderivations are maps that satisfy both the Product Rule and Chain Rule.) Central European Journal of Mathematics, Volume 10, Number 2, 824-834. Joint work with C. Emmons and A. Shaheen.

Simple examples of the combinatorial trace method in action. Joint work with N. Martinez (CSULA student). Appears in College Mathematics Journal.

Expander families, group structure, and semidirect products. Joint work with M. Aivazian (CSULA student). Appears in Irish Math. Soc. Bulletin.

ZERO SUMS ON UNIT SQUARE VERTEX SETS, AND PLANE COLORINGS. Joint work with R. Katz and A. Shaheen. To appear in American Mathematical Monthly.

My Ph.D. dissertation

Talks and Slideshows

The slideshows below need some narration, but hopefully it's possible to get something out of them even without all the accompanying explanations. One of these days, I'll add some audio.

"Using Groups and Graphs to Build a Better Communications Network: A Brief Introduction to Expanders and Ramanujan Graphs":   Slideshow—short version    Slideshow—longer version

"Coloring the Plane with Rainbow Squares":   Slideshow   Goes with the "unit square" paper above.

"Number derivatives: A treasure trove of student research projects":   Slideshow

"The No WAY Moment in Mathematics" (A surprising pattern emerges from a slight twist on Cantor's original uncountability argument.): Download both the slideshow and the accompanying file into the same folder before viewing the slideshow.

"Beaucoup de Sudoku":   Slideshow—short version    Slideshow—longer version

"Toldedo invariants on 2-orbifolds":   Abstract

"Spectra of Johnson Graphs":   Abstract    Slideshow

"Tell Me What You Can About a Group of Order n":   A slideshow describing a project I did in an Abstract Algebra class a few years ago

"Fractals":   A slideshow on fractals for a course I taught a few years ago

I graduated from Johns Hopkins in May 2005. My thesis advisor was Dr. Richard Wentworth.

This website was last updated on Feb. 4, 2011.

Back to Mike Krebs' Home Page