Ron Graham

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With Ron in August, 2015
Ron Graham (1935/10/31 -- 2020/07/06) was a mathematician that the American Mathematical Society described as "one of the principal architects of the rapid development worldwide of discrete mathematics in recent years". Most recently he was at the University of California, San Diego, having moved on from a quite senior position at the Bell Labs or AT&T research centre based at Murray Hill. Just how senior he was I've never been able to work out, as he was a modest and unassuming man.

Graham's Number is named after Ron. There's a description here of the problem where it arises.
Wikipedia lists him as having done important work in scheduling theory, computational geometry, Ramsey theory, and quasi-randomness. But this doesn't really capture the man.

Ron was also a 7-ball juggler, an international standard gymnast and trampoliner, was President of the International Jugglers Association, all in addition to being a well-known and widely respected research mathematician. He was even featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Ron regularly worked in close collaboration with Paul Erdos, even to the point of having a room in his house for Paul's use whenever he turned up.

He was a genuinely lovely man, and even though I saw him rarely, he was always warm and welcoming.

I will miss him.

See also:


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