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The Many Names of (7,3,1)

by Ezra Brown

Award: Carl B. Allendoerfer

Year of Award: 2003

Publication Information: Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 75(2002), pp. 83-94

Summary: One object that is a difference set, a block design, a Steiner triple system, a finite projective plane, a complete set of orthogonal Latin Squares, a doubly regular round-robin tournament, a skew-Hadamard matrix, and a graph consisting of seven mutually adjacent hexagons drawn on the torus.

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About the Author: (from Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 75 (2002)) Ezra (Bud) Brown grew up in New Orleans and has degrees from Rice University and Louisiana State University. He has been at Virginia Tech since the First Nixon Administration, with time out for sabbatical visits to Washington, D.C. where he has spent his summers since 1993, and Munich. His research interests include graph theory, the combinatorics of finite sets, and number theory. He received the MAA MD-DC-VA Section Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1999, and MAA Polya Awards in 2000 and 2001. As a graduate student, he first met (7,3,1) and it continues to amaze him with its many combinatorial connections.

Subject classification(s): Graph Theory | Combinatorics | Discrete Mathematics | Matrix Algebra | Linear Algebra | Algebra and Number Theory
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2007