Person: Graham (3), Thomas Smith
Ron Graham was an American mathematician who made important contributions to combinatorics. He collaborated extensively with Paul Erdős.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Graham decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force rather than wait to be drafted.
- Graham attended the conference as did Paul Erdős and the two mathematicians met for the first time.
- Graham also started to collaborate with Erdős and, in total, they published 30 joint papers (many with additional joint authors).
- Graham even set up an Erdős room in his home.
- Up until the time of his death in September 1996, Erdős frequently stayed with Graham ...
- Graham was forced to become an expert on currency exchange rates because honoraria from Erdős's lectures were paid in a wide variety of currencies.
- There is one further Graham-Erdős link we should mention at this point.
- This notion (now a part of MathSciNet) was due to Graham in a 1979 paper On properties of a well-known graph or what is your Ramsey number?
- That was the pseudonym under which Graham wrote the paper (in fact Tom Odda is a Mandarin term of abuse - Graham was learning Mandarin at the time).
- His seminal work has led to the birth of at least three new branches of mathematics: Ramsey theory, computational geometry, and worst case analysis of multiprocessing algorithms (now sometimes referred to as "Graham type analysis.") Graham's characteristic quality is an indefatigable activity, both in the cause of mathematics, and on behalf of it applications.
- Graham served as President of the American Mathematical Society in 1993-94.
- At Bell Laboratories, Graham was Director of Information Sciences from 1962 to 1995.
- Graham was appointed to the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Endowed Chair of Computer and Information Science at the University of California at San Diego in 1999; he continues to hold this Chair.
- Ron and Nancy Graham were divorced in the late 1970s.
- By December 2009 MathSciNet records 77 joint papers by Ron Graham and Fan Chung (many with additional joint authors).
- We now look briefly at some of the books Graham has written.
- Other books by Graham include: (with Paul Erdős) Old and new problems and results in combinatorial number theory (1980); Rudiments of Ramsey theory (1981) described by a reviewer as "not only very readable in terms of mathematical exposition, it is highly entertaining"; (with Donald Knuth and Oren Patashnik) Concrete mathematics.
- Graham has received the Pólya Prize in Combinatorics from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 1972, the Carl Allendoerfer Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 1990, the Lester R Ford Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 1991, and the Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and Its Applications in 1994.
- In 2003, Graham received the Steele Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Mathematical Society.
- He has made many important research contributions to this subject, including the development, with Fan Chung, of the theory of quasirandom combinatorial and graphical families, Ramsey theory, the theory of packing and covering, etc., as well as to the theory of numbers, and seminal contributions to approximation algorithms and computational geometry (the "Graham scan").
Born 31 October 1935, Taft, California, USA. Died 6 July 2020, La Jolla, California, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive