Combinatorics Research Group
The Open University has a
large and active research programme in combinatorics.
is a rich source of mathematical questions which are easily
described but difficult to solve. The CRG's
current investigations focus on graph colourings, combinatorial
and their properties, topological embeddings of graphs and
pattern-avoiding permutations. Fuller details may be found by
Our interest is primarily and
unashamedly in the theoretical aspects. However, many of the
connect with practical issues in areas such as experimental
data transmission, and data security. A specific example is the
application of graph colourings to mobile telephone transmission
systems. The questions which we seek to address are recognised
significant both for their theoretical importance and for
their practical implications.
Most of my research over the past 30 years has been done jointly
colleague Terry Griggs. Our interests are focused on Steiner
systems, their properties and those of related combinatorial
We have several papers on configurations in Steiner triple
other designs. Since the mid-1990s we have developed an
interest in topological representations of designs and from 2002
we held a Leverhulme Trust grant to pursue this topic with
at the Slovak University of Technology.
For anyone wishing to study combinatorial designs, a good
introduction may be found in:
I. Anderson. A first
course in combinatorial mathematics (second
, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Research aspects are dealt with more fully in:
C. J. Colbourn and A. Rosa, Triple
, Oxford University Press,
A survey of work in topological design theory is given in:
Designs and topology
. (M. J. Grannell and T. S.
Invited paper for the 2007 British Combinatorial Conference, in
"Surveys in Combinatorics 2007", Cambridge University Press,
Mathematical Society Lecture Note Series 346 (ISBN13:
9780521698238), 2007, 121-174.
For a full list of my publications, go to
Mike Grannell firstname.lastname@example.org