# Kvant Selecta: Combinatorics, I

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*Serge Tabachnikov*

There is a tradition in Russia that holds that mathematics
can be both challenging and fun. One fine outgrowth of that tradition
is the magazine, Kvant, which has been enjoyed by many of the
best students since its founding in 1970. The articles in
Kvant assume only a minimal background, that of a good high
school student, yet are capable of entertaining mathematicians of
almost any level. Sometimes the articles require careful thought or a
moment's work with a pencil and paper. However, the industrious reader
will be generously rewarded by the elegance and beauty of the
subjects.

This book is the third collection of articles from
Kvant to be published by the AMS. The volume is devoted
mainly to combinatorics and discrete mathematics. Several of the
topics are well known: nonrepeating sequences, detecting a counterfeit
coin, and linear inequalities in economics, but they are discussed
here with the entertaining and engaging style typical of the
magazine. The two previous collections treat aspects of algebra and
analysis, including connections to number theory and other
topics. They were published as Volumes 14 and 15 in the Mathematical
World series.

The articles are written so as to present genuine
mathematics in a conceptual, entertaining, and accessible way. The
books are designed to be used by students and teachers who love
mathematics and want to study its various aspects, deepening and
expanding upon the school curriculum.

#### Readership

Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in combinatorics and discrete mathematics.