LTCC Course: Graph Theory

General information

General description

Contents and notes

Examination questions

General information about the LTCC course on Graph Theory

This is a course intended for first year research students in Mathematics, provided for the London Taught Course Centre (LTCC). See the LTCC website for full details of the objectives and activities of the LTCC, and of other available courses.

See PDF icon here for general information about the course -- much of the information in the handout is repeated below.

Teacher responsible:
Peter Allen,
Department of Mathematics, LSE

16 January - 13 February 2017
in De Morgan House, London.

General description


Our aims in this course are twofold. First, to discuss some of the major results of graph theory, and to provide an introduction to the language, methods and terminology of the subject. Second, to emphasise various approaches (algorithmic, probabilistic, etc) that have proved fruitful in modern graph theory: these modes of thinking about the subject have also proved successful in other areas of mathematics, and we hope that students will find the techniques learnt in this course to be useful in other areas of mathematics.

Reading material

Below is a collection of books, including some that can be accessed online. Any one of these textbooks should give sufficient reading material. The code before each book will be used in the table of contents below.
J.A. Bondy and U.S.R. Murty, Graph Theory. Springer (2008).
A thorough and well-written textbook covering most parts of modern graph theory. In many institutes you will be able to read this book online.
Long ago, Bondy and Murty wrote one of the classic textbooks on graph theory: Graph Theory with Applications. North Holland (1976). This book is out of print (and has been out of print for ages). But the full text is available online for personal use. You can download it from here.
Reinhard Diestel, Graph Theory (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th edition). Springer-Verlag (1997, 2000, 2005, 2010).
Although this book is still in print, the author has made sure that a restricted version is available online as well. See All editions are suitable for this course. References in the notes will refer to the 4th edition (which is the same as the one you can download most parts of).
Béla Bollobás, Modern Graph Theory, Springer-Verlag (1998).
This is another classic textbook aimed at students at this level, and is suitable for the course.


Many people attending the course will have taken an introductory course in graph theory or discrete mathematics before, and we assume a certain amount of basic knowledge in graph theory.

Specifically, we expect students attending these lectures to be familiar with the following notions:
graphs; trees; paths; cycles; vertex degree; connectedness; bipartite graphs; complete graphs; subgraphs.

Those requiring a quick refresher are advised to look at the introductory chapter of any of the books listed above, before the course starts.

Contents and notes

Below is the rough schedule for this course, with notes. Some of these notes are from last year; they will be updated in due course. It is likely that there will be some small changes this year.

Week Topics Notes
Week 1 Graph Colouring
PDF icon Notes and Exercises 1
PDF icon Solutions to Exercises 1
Week 2 Graphs on Surfaces; Graph Minors
PDF icon Notes and Exercises 2
PDF icon Solutions to Exercises 2
Week 3 Algorithms and Complexity
PDF icon Notes and Exercises 3
PDF icon Solutions to Exercises 3
Week 4 Probabilistic Methods and Random Graphs
PDF icon Notes and Exercises 4
PDF icon Solutions to Exercises 4
Week 5 Ramsey Theory and Regularity
PDF icon Notes and Exercises 5
PDF icon Solutions to Exercises 5

Examination questions

Here is the 2013 exam, with solutions.
And here is the 2014 exam, of course also with solutions.

Copyright © Jan van den Heuvel & London School of Economics and Political Science 2008 - 2016, minor hacks due to Peter Allen, 2017