A Whimsical Introduction to Graph Theory (1)
Part 1 – What are Graphs?
Mathematics is full of fascinating ideas and concepts. These can, however, be very challenging to tackle and make sense of, especially when you are put under pressure to answer questions about them! In this post, and those to come, I hope to share some insight into these concepts without getting too formal. Where some definitions and more technical bits are introduced, they will be explained at end of the post: look out for the dagger symbols!
To begin, let’s ask what we do in mathematics. The first step in any area of maths is almost always to abstract things. We take some concept we want to be able to work with and pull out the essential ideas. From a bunch of maps we may take out just destinations and the routes between them; from 3D objects we may only need to know what ways we can rotate them and still see the same thing; from a collection of algorithms we may only care about how long they take to run on a computer, and so on.…