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Ronald Graham

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Ronald L. Graham (born c. 1936) is a mathematician credited by the American Mathematical Society with being "one of the principal architects of the rapid development worldwide of discrete mathematics in recent years"[1]. He has done important work in scheduling theory[?], computational geometry, Ramsey theory, and quasi-randomness[?].

He holds the posts of Chief Scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology[?] (also known as Cal-(IT)2), and Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

He was born in Taft, California. In 1962, he got his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

A 1977 paper of his discussed a problem in Ramsey theory, and gave a large number as an upper bound for its solution. This number has since become famous as the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof (and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as such), and is now known as Graham's number.

Graham popularised the concept of the Erdős number, named after the highly prolific Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős (1913 - 1996). A mathematician's Erdős number is the number of links away from Erdős they are, where mathematician A is linked to mathematician B if they have co-authored a paper together. Graham's Erdős number was 1. Not only had he co-authored a paper with Erdős, but he was also a good friend. Erdős often stayed with him, and let him look after his mathematical papers and even his money for him.

Graham was featured in "Ripley's Believe It or Not[?]" for being not only "one of the world's foremost mathematicians", but also "a highly skilled trampolinist and juggler", and "president of the International Jugglers Association[?]" (sic).

In 2003, Graham won the American Mathematical Society's annual Steele[?] Prize for Lifetime Achievement. The prize was awarded on January 16 that year, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland.

As of 2003, he has published about 300 papers, and five books.

He is married to Fan Chung Graham (known professionally as Fan Chung), who is the Akamai Professor in Internet Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. He has two children - a daughter, Che, and a son, Marc - from an earlier marriage.

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