In mathematics there are many problems that seem almost ridiculously pointless and it makes you wonder why such things are of any interest at all. An example would be the concept of vertex colouring of graphs. This is simply taking a graph and “colouring” each node so that no two nodes of the same colour have an arc connecting them. Generally the aim is to minimise the number of colours required by reusing colours whenever possible. Of course this exercise has applications for computer programming and scheduling algorithms and so, as always, even the most useless looking maths comes to a purpose somewhere.

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