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## How Combinatorics became legitimate (according to László Lovász and Endre Szemerédi)

* Simons Foundation* has a series of fantastic interviews with leading mathematicians (ht Federico Ardila). Let me single out the interviews with László Lovász and Endre Szemerédi. Avi Wigderson asked both of them about the history of combinatorics and how it came into prominence. Watch parts 8-9 in Lovász’s interview and 10-11 in Szemerédi’s interview to hear their fascinating answers.

**P.S.** See also my old blog posts on what is combinatorics, how it became legitimate and how to watch math videos.

A somewhat related MO question https://mathoverflow.net/questions/330146/controversial-area-of-mathematics .

IMHO a considerable part of legitimisation of combinatorics came from finite groups and related finite geometry and algebraic combinatorics/algebraic graph theory – admittedly not Hungarian school…

@Dima – I largely disagree. I think connections and applications to CS are so fundamental, they created a rising tide which lifted all boats. Connections to many other areas are also important, but if not for combinatorics and graph theory, the whole area of theoretical computer science would seize to exist in its current form.