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California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology


(858) 534-2086


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Ronald Graham

Combinatorics, number theory, graph theory, discrete and computational geometry.

Professor Graham is one of the world's best-known mathematicians, computer theorists, and technology visionaries. In math, he pioneered worst-case analysis in scheduling theory, online algorithms, quasi-randomness, and Ramsey Theory--a branch of pure math that states that complete disorder is impossible. Graham is in the Guinness Book of World Records for using (in 1977) the largest number ever used in a mathematical proof (so large, there isn't even a standard notation for it), now known as "Graham's number." He is a leading authority on the mathematical legend Paul Erdös, and his Ph.D. thesis in number theory developed into a lifelong interest in cryptography. During his long career at AT&T (see bio), Graham's work on "hard problems" in mathematics led him to focus on the complexity of routing milions of telephone calls. And his work on routing was influential in the early architecture of the Internet, as well as the vision of "anywhere/anytime access to the wireless Web" pursued by Cal-(IT)2 where he serves as Chief Scientist. Today Graham sits on the Board of Directors of a company that is synonymous with Web server technology--Akamai.

Ronald Graham holds the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Endowed Chair in Computer and Information Science and is Chief Scientist of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. He joined the UCSD faculty in 1999, after a 37-year career with AT&T. Graham received his Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley in 1962. From 1962-95, he was director of information sciences at (AT&T) Bell Labs, and from 1996-99 Chief Scientist of AT&T Labs. Graham has held visiting professorships at Rutgers, Princeton, Caltech, Stanford, UCLA, and U.C. Davis, and he holds five honorary doctorates. Graham is the Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of Amer. Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, and a past President of both the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America. He has won numerous awards in the field of mathematics, including the Polya Prize in Combinatorics and the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement awarded in 2003 by the American Mathematical Society.