MIT-Harvard-MSR Combinatorics Seminar

Friday, September 09, 2022 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

MIT - Dept. of Math / Cambridge, MA, / Bldg. 2, Room 132

Speaker:  John Urschel  (Harvard/MIT)

Title:  Maximizing the Spread of Symmetric Non-Negative Matrices


The spread of a matrix is defined as the diameter of its spectrum. In this talk, we consider the problem of maximizing the spread of a symmetric non-negative matrix with bounded entries and discuss a number of recent results. This optimization problem is closely related to a pair of conjectures in spectral graph theory made by Gregory, Kirkland, and Hershkowitz in 2001, which were recently resolved by Breen, Riasanovsky, Tait, and Urschel. This talk will give a light overview of the approach used in this work, with a strong focus on ideas, many of which can be abstracted to more general matrix optimization problems.

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