The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Computational Algebra (CIRCA) was established in 2000 to foster new and existing collaborative research between members of the Schools of Computer Science and of Mathematics and Statistics in the area of computational abstract algebra.

The Centre undertakes mathematical research with computer assistance, develops new techniques for computation in abstract algebra and develops and distributes software implementing these techniques. This work is supported by research grants from EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society, the British Council, the European Commission and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The Centre also organises conferences, seminars and training courses and plays a significant role in the international efforts to develop maintain and promote the GAP (groups, algorithms and programming) software package, a leading integrated system for computational discrete mathematics and algebra.

News and Events

CIRCA seminar June 13th

On June 13th we will have a CIRCA seminar, at 1pm in Theatre D. The speaker is Jim Davis, who is visiting from the University of Richmond.

Title: GAP and difference sets

Abstract: The computer program GAP has played an important role in the search for difference sets. I will give a gentle introduction to difference sets, and I will give several examples why you ought to care about them. I will then describe a decades long search for difference sets in groups of order 256 (the GAP library indicates that there are 56,092 nonisomorphic groups of that order) and the results of that search. Special bonus points to anyone who knows the significance in America of the number 714.

CIRCA seminar April 11th

The last CIRCA seminar of the semester will be on April 11th. Ian Gent and Jiaping Lu wil speak.

Jiaping’s title Generation of Iterated Wreath Products of Almost Simple Groups

Ian’s title Dominances in Single Player Games

Ian’s abstract Recently we have spent much time thinking about how to model and solve single player games using constraint solving and planning. Examples are patience/solitaire card games and also the classic arcade puzzle game Puzznic. For these games a key technique to reduce search is to exploit “dominances”. A dominance is a situation where we can ignore considering some moves because they are dominated by other possibilities: the ignored moves might lead to a solution but if they do the dominant moves must do as well. I will talk about the kinds of dominance that arise in these games.