I have published a paper about the combinatorics of adding a mixture of chemicals to a compound and observing a number of spectral peaks for this, which allows the user to gain information about the compound involved, while keeping cross-chemical effects low.

I am pretty sure the same approach not only occurs in my field of expertise, but also elsewhere in science, as this is a pretty abstract concept. Where can i find other problems like this, so that my algorithm can be solved by simply modifying the input/output of my software? A specific journal would of course only hold articles concerning my own field/their own field.

  • and can someone create the tag "multiple disciplines"? – tarrasch Sep 14 '12 at 14:15
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    In my opinion, you should talk to a mathematician in your institute. Chances are that there is some nice mathematics behind it, if it is that general. (disclaimer: I work in mathematics). – Federico Poloni Sep 14 '12 at 14:24
  • actually it is a lot of mathematics, but applied mathematics (a software) :) – tarrasch Sep 14 '12 at 14:25
  • Have you tried your local library? Google? Other users of spectography on your campus? – JeffE Sep 14 '12 at 14:33
  • i have tried looking for combinatorics problems. but of course there is too much reading for this, and only for people advancing this field. what i would need is someone having a problem and this coming to the rescue. I have not talked to other users in campus, there is not much of a network there. – tarrasch Sep 14 '12 at 14:40

(I answer it in a general way. If you want to ask it for your specific problem, try MathOverflow or Chemistry.SE.)

You may try searching for relevant papers, but then it is easy to miss even obvious references, e.g. due to different terminology, notation, approach or motivation. (So even if you have a paper in your hand, it can take a lot of time to check if it is relevant at all; searching in all papers may be like searching for a needle in a haystack.)

On the contrary, the best idea is to ask people who are working on similar problems. They may know the direct references, or people who know them, or at least give some insight into research lines in their fields (or provide some general references which may be a good source for your own search).

Source: it happened to me quite a few times that even a long searching for papers gave me little information, but asking people doing research in related fields (and perhaps looking up references in papers they provided) has proved to be successful.


Here are some pointers that one can start with; on the multidisciplinary aspects of Combinatorics.

See Annals of Combinatorics

Annals of Combinatorics will publish outstanding contributions to combinatorial mathematics in all its aspects. Special regard will be given to new developments which have yet to be given proper recognition, but which in the opinion of the editors show promise of eventual mathematical breakthroughs.

Papers published in Annals of Combinatorics will not be limited to the field of combinatorics in the strict sense. They will range over problems and theories that have arisen, or will arise, in applications to computer science, biology, statistics, probability, physics and chemistry, as well as over work of a combinatorial nature in representation theory, number theory, topology, algebraic geometry and the theory of special functions.

See also Journals in Combinatorics and Related Fields and Preprint Links in Combinatorics. The site also has a list of Open Problems in Combinatorics.

From the list of journals, find those are closely related to your requirements and subscribe to their email alerts or RSS feeds using Google Reader or the likes; for latest articles.

Hope these wiki articles (and the external links there) are already looked into; Combinatorics, Combinatorial chemistry, Outline of combinatorics, Combinatorics and physics

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