50 years of Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing
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50 years of Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing

Fan Chung, Ron Graham, Frederick Hoffman, Ronald C. Mullin, Leslie Hogben, Douglas B. West, Fan Chung, Ron Graham, Frederick Hoffman, Ronald C. Mullin, Leslie Hogben, Douglas B. West

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eBook - ePub

50 years of Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing

Fan Chung, Ron Graham, Frederick Hoffman, Ronald C. Mullin, Leslie Hogben, Douglas B. West, Fan Chung, Ron Graham, Frederick Hoffman, Ronald C. Mullin, Leslie Hogben, Douglas B. West

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About This Book

50 Years of Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing advances research in discrete mathematics by providing current research surveys, each written by experts in their subjects.

The book also celebrates outstanding mathematics from 50 years at the Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory & Computing (SEICCGTC). The conference is noted for the dissemination and stimulation of research, while fostering collaborations among mathematical scientists at all stages of their careers.

The authors of the chapters highlight open questions. The sections of the book include: Combinatorics; Graph Theory; Combinatorial Matrix Theory; Designs, Geometry, Packing and Covering. Readers will discover the breadth and depth of the presentations at the SEICCGTC, as well as current research in combinatorics, graph theory and computer science.


  • Commemorates 50 years of the Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory & Computing with research surveys

  • Surveys highlight open questions to inspire further research

  • Chapters are written by experts in their fields

  • Extensive bibliographies are provided at the end of each chapter

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Chapter 1
Personal Reflections of the SEICCGTC: Origins and Beyond
K. B. Reid
California State University San Marcos
1.2Description of This Chapter
1.3Impressions of the Combinatorial Research Atmosphere in the Late 1960’s
1.4Brief Biographies of Early Conference Organizers
1.5Conference Facts
1.6Some Non-Conference Activities at the Conferences
1.7Conference “Firsts”
1.8Some Mathematics from the Fifth Conference (1974)
The 50th Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing (SEICCGTC) was held March 4-8, 2019. Forty of the 50 conferences were at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida, and ten were at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These conferences grew out of what was called The Louisiana Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing, a small trial conference at LSU during March 1-5, 1970. It was the brainchild of Professor Ralph Stanton of the University of Manitoba, and planned by Professor Stanton, Professor Ronald Mullin (University of Waterloo), Professor David Roselle and me (LSU). I will say more about these folks in Section 1.4 below.
During the past 50 years, the conference has made important contributions to the development and popularity of subjects that were in their infancy 50 years ago. Many of the central figures in that development have been invited instructional lecturers over the years; many established combinatorial researchers have attended and participated in the sessions, contributed papers, or technical programs. And many young researchers have found encouragement and inspiration from the programs and fellowship at the conferences. The fact that many attendees return again and again speaks to the importance that researchers place on the interactions afforded by such a rich collection of talented participants. The discrete mathematics community indeed is fortunate that the long traditions of this conference have persisted, and for that we are indebted to the continuing efforts of FAU Professor Frederick Hoffman, the FAU administration, and the FAU Department of Mathematical Sciences, generous volunteer efforts, some financial support from ONR, NSA, NSF, and ICA, and, more recently, the input and enthusiasm of FAU Mathematics Events and Recruitment Coordinator Dr. Maria Provost. And, as there is now an active Advisory Committee with members drawn from across the country, the future of the conference is sure to be bright. Speaking for fellow hosts for this conference over the years, we have felt much fulfillment from the success and importance of this conference.
I alert the reader that this chapter is a change of pace for a collection of mathematics articles, and a novel attempt on the part of the author. But, do not despair, there will be some combinatorics. Let me give you an idea of what I plan to do in the following pages. First, in Section 1.2, I express my intent for such a chapter. Then, in Section 1.3, I turn to my impressions of the combinatorial research atmosphere in the late 1960’s, including my situation about that time. In Section 1.4, I provide brief biographical sketches of the folks associated with hosting the conferences. In Section 1.5, I reveal some facts about the conferences. In Section 1.6, I recall some of the social programs and some of the participants’ non-conference activities at conferences. In Section 1.7, I discuss some “firsts” of the conferences. And in Section 1.8, I resuscitate some mathematics from the fifth conference (1974).
1.2Description of This Chapter
This chapter describes some memories and recollections connected with previous occurrences of this conference, mainly those ten occurrences at LSU, where the conferences originated in 1970, but also about some developments during the last couple of decades. I was closely involved with the planning and hosted the first seven of the LSU conferences in 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1984 and 1988. I also enjoyed and appreciated the execution of the remaining occurrences of the conference at LSU and at FAU. As I contemplated what I could write about those early conferences, I quickly realized that I no longer possessed most of the physical evidence from which I could draw material and inspiration. I did uncover a brief announcement of the first conference that appeared in the local newspaper, the Baton Rouge State Times, on March 2, 1970.
I still own most of the Proceedings up through 2002 (the 33rd conference) and a few afterward. But even though I was in the same office at LSU for over 20 years, I faced many file reductions during the many office moves at the new and emerging institution I have been associated with for the past 30 years, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), where I was one of the twelve University Founding Faculty in 1989. Documents and files that would have been valuable from which to draw data and inspiration have been lost, misplaced, or discarded. So, it became apparent that instead of a detailed report that a rich source of physical evidence could provide - number of invited speakers, number of registrants, geographical distribution of the participants, appearance of special sessions, growth of the registration fees, menus of the conference banquets, etc. - I would have to rely on rather sparse physical data and fall back on a collection of my own recollections and those of some of the folks involved with the conferences over the years. For example, FAU Professor Frederick Hoffman provided me one document of particular value, a complete listing of the keynote speakers at the 50 conferences. Of course, I probably will touch on some facts and recollections that may seem insignificant, while overlooking many that should be remembered. Also, I apologize in advance for overlooking a person or event that could well belong in a chapter such as this. I emphasize that this is strictly a string of personal recollections garnered from my memory, a few documents, a bit of internet searches, and a few comments I solicited from several folks. It is not a history; it is more a collection of very short stories, stories that would have quite different direction and content with a different author. In short, I hope to give a taste of some of the early days of the conferences and a few comments about many of the other 40+ conference occurrences.
1.3Impressions of the Combinatorial Research Atmosphere in the Late 1960’s
To begin, let me make some comments to compare the combinatorial mathematical environment in the late 1960’s prior to the first of the SEICCGTC’s with the environment of the rich and varied present. Compared with the flood of textbooks, research books, monographs, conference proceedings, and journals (both on-line and in-print) that have evolved over the last 50 years, the combinatorial literature in the late 1960’s was in its infancy, even though many of what we now consider foundational results had appeared in many different sources.
A few of the names associated with pre-twentieth century combinatorial results include Cayley, Euler, Kirkman, Hamilton, Fibonacci, Jordan, Pascal, Leibniz, Kempe, among others.
Many of the memorable results in combinatorics and graph theory established in the first 70% of the twentieth century are considered to be classics now. Combinatorial mathematics was published in a wide range of the mathematical literature by many authors. A very incomplete list of pre-1970 prominent authors who are likely known to most combinatorial researchers include, in no particular order, Ramsey, Erdős, Szekeres, Brooks, Tutte, Dilworth, Halmos, Vaughan, de Bruijn, Ford, Fulkerson, Gale, Ryser, Kasteleyn, Hales, Jewett, Nash-Williams, Rao, Crapo, Rota, Edmonds, Good, Katona, Lubell, Kleitman, Lovász, Sperner, Sta...

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