The basic problem to be considered by the Polymath project is to explore a particular combinatorial approach to the density Hales-Jewett theorem for k=3, suggested by Tim Gowers. The original proof of DHJ(3) used arguments from ergodic theory.
Useful background materials
Here is some background to the project. There is also a general discussion on massively collaborative "polymath" projects. This is a cheatsheet for editing the wiki. Finally, here is the general Wiki user's guide
- (1-199) A combinatorial approach to density Hales-Jewett (inactive)
- (200-299) Upper and lower bounds for the density Hales-Jewett problem (inactive)
- (300-399) The triangle-removal approach (inactive)
- (400-499) Quasirandomness and obstructions to uniformity (inactive)
- (500-599) Possible proof strategies (active)
- (600-699) A reading seminar on density Hales-Jewett (active)
- (700-799) Bounds for the first few density Hales-Jewett numbers, and related quantities (active)
There is also a chance that we will be able to improve the known bounds on Moser's cube problem.
Here are some unsolved problems arising from the above threads.
Here is a tidy problem page.
It is natural to look for strategies based on one of the following:
- Szemerédi's original proof of Szemerédi's theorem.
- Szemerédi's combinatorial proof of Roth's theorem.
- Ajtai-Szemerédi's proof of the corners theorem.
- The density increment method.
- The triangle removal lemma.
- Ergodic-inspired methods.
- The Furstenberg-Katznelson argument.
- H. Furstenberg, Y. Katznelson, “A density version of the Hales-Jewett theorem for k=3“, Graph Theory and Combinatorics (Cambridge, 1988). Discrete Math. 75 (1989), no. 1-3, 227–241.
- H. Furstenberg, Y. Katznelson, “A density version of the Hales-Jewett theorem“, J. Anal. Math. 57 (1991), 64–119.
- R. McCutcheon, “The conclusion of the proof of the density Hales-Jewett theorem for k=3“, unpublished.
- M. Elkin, "An Improved Construction of Progression-Free Sets ", preprint.
- B. Green, J. Wolf, "A note on Elkin's improvement of Behrend's construction", preprint.
- K. O'Bryant, "Sets of integers that do not contain long arithmetic progressions", preprint.
Triangles and corners
- M. Ajtai, E. Szemerédi, Sets of lattice points that form no squares, Stud. Sci. Math. Hungar. 9 (1974), 9--11 (1975). MR369299
- I. Ruzsa, E. Szemerédi, Triple systems with no six points carrying three triangles. Combinatorics (Proc. Fifth Hungarian Colloq., Keszthely, 1976), Vol. II, pp. 939--945, Colloq. Math. Soc. János Bolyai, 18, North-Holland, Amsterdam-New York, 1978. MR519318
- J. Solymosi, A note on a question of Erdős and Graham, Combin. Probab. Comput. 13 (2004), no. 2, 263--267. MR 2047239