Type of Document Dissertation Author Chun, Deborah Author's Email Address deborah.chun@gmail.com URN etd-06302011-063215 Title Capturing Elements in Matroid Minors Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Department Mathematics Advisory Committee

Advisor Name Title Oxley, James Committee Chair Ding, Guoli Committee Member Neubrander, Frank Committee Member Oporowski, Bogdan Committee Member Perlis, Robert Committee Member Knapp, Gerald Dean's Representative Keywords

- matroid
- unavoidable minor
- ramsey
- rounded
Date of Defense 2011-06-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractIn this dissertation, we begin with an introduction to a matroid as the natural generalization of independence arising in three different fields of mathematics. In the first chapter, we develop graph theory and matroid theory terminology necessary to the topic of this dissertation. In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, we prove two main results.

A result of Ding, Oporowski, Oxley, and Vertigan reveals that a large 3-connected matroid M has unavoidable structure.

For every n exceeding two, there is an integer f(n) so that if |E(M)| exceeds f(n), then M has a minor isomorphic to the rank-n wheel or whirl, a rank-n spike, the cycle or bond matroid of K_{3,n}, or U_{2,n} or U_{n-2,n}.

In Chapter 2, we build on this result to determine what can be said about a large structure using a specified element e of M.

In particular, we prove that, for every integer n exceeding two, there is an integer g(n) so that if |E(M)| exceeds g(n), then e is an element of a minor of M isomorphic to the rank-n wheel or whirl, a rank-n spike, the cycle or bond matroid of K_{1,1,1,n}, a specific single-element extension of M(K_{3,n}) or the dual of this extension, or U_{2,n} or U_{n-2,n}.

In Chapter 3, we consider a large 3-connected binary matroid with a specified pair of elements.

We extend a corollary of the result of Chapter 2 to show the following result for any pair {x,y} of elements of a 3-connected binary matroid M.

For every integer n exceeding two, there is an integer h(n) so that if |E(M)| exceeds h(n), then x and y are elements of a minor of M isomorphic to the rank-n wheel, a rank-n binary spike with a tip and a cotip, or the cycle or bond matroid of K_{1,1,1,n}.

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