Just combinatorics matters

I would really like everyone to know that every time you say or write that something is “just combinatorics” somebody rolls his eyes.  Guess who?

Here is a short collection of “just combinatorics” quotes.  It’s a followup on my “What is Combinatorics?” quotes page inspired by the “What is Combinatorics?” blog post.

  1. April 1, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Igor, do you know this quote from a paper of Langlands?

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/canadian-journal-of-mathematics/article/on-the-zetafunctions-of-some-simple-shimura-varieties/AF93A6B9C2AB9842FF9DC20848F0C988

    4. Combinatorics. The preparations over, we come now, with sighs of relief from reader and author, to the amusing part of the paper. The combinatorial facts to be verified turn out to be statements about a simple type of tree, the Bruhats-Tits buildings for SL{2). They may well be familiar to combinatorialists, but a cursory glance at the standard texts yielded nothing of help.

  2. April 1, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Gil — no, I haven’t seen this. Nice quote. He seems rather quite respectful to Combinatorics. This was back in the 1970 when only a few Graph Theory books started to appear. I am guessing he proved something hard and on the way used some elementary graph theory results as a minor ingredient. How does that quote fit the subject of my blog post?

  3. April 1, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Why guess? look at the paper! I thought this quote may fit to your nice and short (?) collection of “just combinatorics” quotes in the context of your related “what is combinatorics” post.

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