- Problems in Latin squares
In

mathematics , the theory ofLatin squares is an active research area with manyopen problems . As in other areas of mathematics, such problems are often made public at professional conferences and meetings. Problems posed here appeared in, for instance, the "Loops (Prague)" conferences and the "Milehigh (Denver)" conferences.**Open problems****Bounds on maximal number of transversals in a Latin square**A "transversal" in a

Latin square of order n is a set S of n cells such that every row and every column contains exactly one cell of S, and such that the symbols in S form {1,...,n}. Let T(n) be the maximum number of transversals in a Latin square of order n. Estimate T(n).- "Proposed:" by Ian Wanless at Loops '03, Prague 2003
- "Comments:" Wanless, McKay and McLeod have bounds of the form c
^{n}< T(n) < d^{n}n!, where c > 1 and d is about 0.6. A conjecture by Rivin, Vardi and Zimmermann (Rivin et al, 1994) says that you can place at least exp(c n log n) queens in non-attacking positions on atoroid alchessboard (for some constant c). If true this would imply that T(n) > exp(c n log n). A related question is to estimate the number of transversals in theCayley table s of cyclic groups of odd order. In other words, how many orthomorphisms do these groups have?

**Characterization of Latin subsquares in multiplication tables of Moufang loops**Describe how all Latin subsquares in multiplication tables of Moufang loops arise.

- "Proposed:" by Aleš Drápal at Loops '03, Prague 2003
- "Comments:" It is well known that every Latin subsquare in a
multiplication table of a group G is of the form aH x Hb, where H is a subgroup of G and a, b are elements of G.

**Densest partial Latin squares with Blackburn property**A partial Latin square has "Blackburn property" if whenever the cells (i,j) and (k,l) are occupied by the same symbol, the opposite corners (i,l) and (k,j) are empty. What is the highest achievable density of filled cells in a partial Latin square with the Blackburn property? In particular, is there some constant c > 0 such that we can always fill at least c n

^{2}cells?- "Proposed:" by Ian Wanless at Loops '03, Prague 2003
- "Comments:" In a paper to appear, Wanless has shown that if c exists then c < 0.463. He also constructed a family of partial Latin squares with the Blackburn property and asymptotic density of at least exp(-d(log n)
^{1/2})) for constant d>0.

**Largest power of 2 dividing the number of Latin squares**Let $L\_n$ be the number of Latin squares of order n. What is the largest integer $p(n)$ such that $2^\{p(n)\}$ divides $L\_n$? Does $p(n)$ grow quadratically in n?

- "Proposed:" by Ian Wanless at Loops '03, Prague 2003
- "Comments:" Of course, $L\_n=n!(n-1)!R\_n$ where $R\_n$ is the number of reduced Latin squares of order n. This immediately gives a linear number of factors of 2. However, here are the
prime factorization s of $R\_n$ for n=2, ... ,11:This table suggests that the power of 2 is growing superlinearly. The best current result is that $R\_n$ is always divisible by f!, where f is about n/2. See (McKay and Wanless, 2003). Two authors noticed the suspiciously high power of 2 (without being able to shed much light on it): (Alter, 1975), (Mullen, 1978).

**ee also***

Problems in loop theory and quasigroup theory **References**Citation

last=Alter | first=Ronald | title=How many latin squares are there? | journal=Amer. Math. Monthly

volume=82 | year=1975 | issue=6 | pages=632-634. Citation

last=McKay | first=Brendan | first2=Ian | last2=Wanless | title=On the number of latin squares

journal=Ann. Combin. | volume=9 | year=2005 | pages=335-344. Citation

last=Mullen | first=Garry | title=How many i-j reduced latin squares are there?

journal=Amer. Math. Monthly | volume=85 | year=1978 | issue=9 | pages=751-752. Citation

last1=Rivin | first1=Igor | first2=Ilan | last2=Vardi | first3=Paul | last3=Zimmerman

title=The n-queens problem | journal=Amer. Math. Monthly | volume=101 | year=1994 | issue=7 | pages=629-639.**External links*** [

*http://www.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~loops99 Loops '99 conference*]

* [*http://www.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~loops03 Loops '03 conference*]

* [*http://www.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~loops07 Loops '07 conference*]

* [*http://www.math.du.edu/milehigh Milehigh conference on quasigroups, loops, and nonassociative systems*]

* [*http://www.math.du.edu/loops LOOPS package for GAP*]

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