Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pete Slater

September 30, 1946-September 27, 2016 Dr. Peter J. Slater of Huntsville passed away Tuesday. He was a Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, in 1968. He served two years in the US Army until 1970, serving in Germany and having the opportunity to travel extensively through Europe. He went on to graduate school at The University of Iowa, earning his Master of Science in Mathematics in 1972 Playing Tripple Town .JPG , and his PhD in Mathematics in 1973. He taught at Cleveland State University, before taking a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Bureau of Standards for one year. Dr. Slater spent six years in the Applied Math Division at Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While living in Albuquerque, a new interest and quest for knowledge was opened and he became an avid student and later teacher of Ballroom Dance. Dance became an integral part of his life, and he was a very active member in the dance community of Huntsville. In 1981, Dr. Slater took a position in the Mathematical Sciences Department of the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he could continue his research in graph theory and combinatorics, and also share his love of Mathematics with students. His love of learning continued as well and he received his Master of Science in Computer Science in 1987 from UAH. Dr. Slater took a sabbatical to Singapore where he taught at the National University of Singapore for one year, and another to teach for a semester at Clemson University. Dr. Slater authored/co-authored nearly 250 refereed publications in his field. He presented papers at conferences worldwide. Survivors include his son, Paul Slater (Paige); daughter, Meghan Slater Madeiros (Jonathan); grandchildren, Michael, Jesse, Angelina, JJ, and Thomas, all of Huntsville; brothers, Jim Slater (Mary) of Boise, Idaho and Frank Slater of Denver, Colorado; many nieces and nephews; and his fianc, Nina Bullock of Huntsville. In addition, he leaves behind numerous students, colleagues, and friends. - See more at: 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

12th East Coast Combinatorics Conference

The 12th East Coast Combinatorics Conference will take place at the University of New Brunswick Saint John,  in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada July 20-21, 2017.  

Invited speakers: Aiden A. Bruen, and Brett Stevens.

Contributed 20-minute talks on all areas of combinatorics are welcome.

No registration fee, though registration is required.

For further information please contact the organisers Tim Alderson, and Andrea Burgess at, or see the conference website:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Posting research online

As academic work and the internet collide, ICA is working to responsibly communicate accurate information with its membership.

We were recently alerted to a member who was incorrectly linked to a paper by the algorithms at  After some research, we see that the site may not be as reputable as many first thought:

Elsevier notably reacted poorly to free sharing of academic papers a couple years ago.  If you've forgotten or you missed it:

Alternatives to document sharing include is an electronic archive and distribution server for research articles.  It is maintained and operated by Cornell University Library, with no referee or review.

Research gate is another alternative that functions less like a paper repository and more like a social networking site in the style of Linked In.

Most ICA members with academic homes have access to a personal website through the University where they can post preprints of their articles.

Is ICA moving the BICA online?  That's the plan!  We have elected a webmaster, and are in the process of securing the url.  We'll start with issue 79 online, once we get the website ready.

If I publish in BICA, who owns the copyright?  BICA does, which means accepted and refereed articles cannot be reprinted at gate/personal websites without first getting permission from the ICA.

For more information about submitting papers to BICA,

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Honorary members

SS Shrikhande

His friends call him "Shrik", but he is also often referred to as SSS. The development of to-day's very strong group of Indian researchers in Combinatorics is due largely to the pioneering research of R.C. Bose and S.S. Shrikhande. One of the few times that Combinatorics made the pages of the New York Times was when Bose, Parker, and Shrikhande disproved the famous Euler conjecture that there were no pairs of orthogonal Latin squares of side 411+2. Shrik is such an innovative research worker in Design Theory that it is difficult to single out particular achievements, but many colleagues would cite his work on the extension of quasi-residual designs for values of lambda greater than 2.

CR Rao
"his contributions to the foundations of modern statistics through the introduction of concepts such as Cramér–Rao inequality, Rao–Blackwellization, Rao distance, Rao measure, and for introducing the idea of orthogonal arrays for the industry to design high-quality products." 
He has been the President of the International Statistical Institute, Institute of Mathematical Statistics (USA), and the International Biometric Society. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of India's National Institution for Quality and Reliability (Chennai Branch) for his contribution to industrial statistics and the promotion of quality control programs in industries.
The Journal of Quantitative Economics published a special issue in Rao's honour in 1991. "Dr Rao is a very distinguished scientist and a highly eminent statistician of our time. His contributions to statistical theory and applications are well known, and many of his results, which bear his name, are included in the curriculum of courses in statistics at bachelor's and master's level all over the world. "

GJ Simmons
A retired cryptographer and former manager of the applied mathematics Department and Senior Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. He has worked primarily with authentication theory, developing cryptographic techniques for solving problems of mutual distrust and in devising protocols whose function can be trusted, even though some of the inputs or participants cannot be. Simmons has published over 170 papers, many of which are devoted to asymmetric encryption techniques. His technical contributions include the development of subliminal channels which make it possible to conceal covert communications in digital signatures and the mathematical formulation of an authentication channel paralleling in many respects the secrecy channel formulated by Claude Shannon in 1948. He is also the creator of the Ramsey/graph theory-based mathematical game Sim.

Vera Sos
A Hungarian mathematician, specializing in number theory and combinatorics. She was a student and close collaborator of both Paul Erdős and Alfréd Rényi. She also collaborated frequently with her husband Pál Turán, the analyst, number theorist, and combinatorist. Until 1987, she worked at the Department of Analysis at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Since then, she has been employed by the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics. One of her results is the Kővári–Sós–Turán theorem concerning the maximum possible number of edges in a bipartite graph that does not contain certain complete subgraphs. Another is the following so-called friendship theorem proved with Paul Erdős and Alfréd Rényi: if, in a finite graph, any two vertices have exactly one common neighbor, then some vertex is joined to all others. In number theory, Sós proved the three distance theorem, conjectured by Hugo Steinhaus and proved independently by Stanisław Świerczkowski.

Henry Gould
Professor Gould has published over 200 papers, which have appeared in about 20 countries. His research has been in combinatorial analysis, number theory, special functions of mathematical physics, and the history of mathematics and astronomy. Gould served as mathematics consultant to the 'Dear Abby' newspaper column. One interesting aspect of this work was writing an explanation of the three ancient Greek problems (trisecting an angle, squaring the circle, and duplicating the cube). A pamphlet on this material was sent to hundreds of readers (mostly secondary school students) in every state and overseas, who wanted to know more about these famous problems.

To nominate someone for honorary membership, please email