Jack Edmonds – One of the Last Century’s Greatest Mathematicians

I am turning to all of you, my dear readers, with this announcement/application.


I have to tell about the great American mathematician Jack Edmonds, and his works in my PhD course after a couple of weeks, and I am now collection all possible information regarding to this man. I have read his most famous article `Paths, Trees, and Flowers`, I have found some citations other people said about him, I have studied some problems connected with his work, etc.


What am I asking – can you tell me something more about Jack Edmonds, like some facts from his biography, some interesting stories about him or that he has told, about his personality, etc. It surprised me how little information I could find about his life, including the title of his dissertation – I just couldn’t find it.. So, can you point me, where can I find something more about him? The most valuable would be to get to know, what impact his most famous work left on the subsequent mathematicians – either your own opinions or citations of some famous mathematicians or other people..


P.S. Some photos of Jack Edmonds would also be appreciated.



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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My Graph Theory prof. told a story today about how Edmonds was at a seminar with a bunch of heavyweights (Dantzig, etc…) and all he had was an inconsequential result to present.
    Then, one night during the seminar, he had some flash of insight which lead to his theory about matching algorithms. (Or something.)
    Anyhoo, the next day he presents his brand new theories and his career skyrocketed after that.

  2. Try the book “History of Mathematical Programming: A Collection of Personal Reminiscences” edited by J.K. Lenstra and published by North-Holland in 1991. There’s an extensive discourse by Jack Edmonds on his life and career up to that point. The book is out of print but a uiversity library may have a copy. The reason you can’t find the title of his dissertation is because he doesn’t have a Ph.D., a fact which he discusses at some length in the article I’ve noted.

  3. Thanks for advise! I will certainly try to get that book!

  4. Check out about Terence Tao also.

  5. OK, I will!

  6. Jack Edmonds is American. He is my father’s, Derald Jones, 1st cousin. Other than that I really like the information on here

  7. Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve corrected it now.

  8. You may find this page useful – http://www.lamsade.dauphine.fr/~poc/spip.php?article22

  9. I never had him as a Professor, but boy could I tell you some stories. He is an “interesting” person.

  10. Ron Mullin,one of his co-workers at Waterloo in the 70’s could fill you in on Jack. As a former student, I experienced the darker side of this man. One day we were discussing shortest path algorithms between his vociferous talks on wine making. I pointed out the method to find all shortest paths simultaneously. This infuriated Jack who gave me such a tounge lashing that I refused to continue with his course. The wisper campaign at Waterloo amonst the grad students was that Jack was a bit of an intellectual bully boy. So I went on with my studies from Tutte, Mullin and Ponzo. Had taken a summer course so did not need Jack’s blessings to get my masters degree otherwise he would have me by gubernackles. That was most unfortunate mainly for me since I did so enjoy graph theory along with design theory.

  11. Trakie, ko jūs te darāt ?

  12. Labdien! Kāds varētu patulkot ? Vajag priekš skolas

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