Applied Combinatorics is an open-source textbook for a course covering the fundamental enumeration techniques (permutations, combinations, subsets, pigeon hole principle), recursion and mathematical induction, more advanced enumeration techniques (inclusion-exclusion, generating functions, recurrence relations, Polyá theory), discrete structures (graphs, digraphs, posets, interval orders), and discrete optimization (minimum weight spanning trees, shortest paths, network flows). There are also chapters introducing discrete probability, Ramsey theory, combinatorial applications of network flows, and a few other nuggets of discrete mathematics.

Applied Combinatorics began its life as a set of course notes we developed when Mitch was a TA for a larger than usual section of Tom’s MATH 3012: Applied Combinatorics course at Georgia Tech in Spring Semester 2006. Since then, the material has been greatly expanded and exercises have been added. The text has been in use for most MATH 3012 sections at Georgia Tech for several years now. Since the text has been available online for free, it has also been adopted at a number of other institutions for a wide variety of courses. In August 2016, we made the first release of Applied Combinatorics in HTML format, thanks to a conversion of the book’s source from LaTeX to MathBook XML. An inexpensive print-on-demand version is also available for purchase. Find out all about ways to get the book.

Since Fall 2016, Applied Combinatorics has been on the list of approved open textbooks from the American Institute of Mathematics.