2018 — Graph Decompositions

August 9 – August 11, 2018, Houghton, MI

Conference Program

Plenary Speakers

Brian Alspach
The University of Newcastle, Australia

Brian received a PhD in mathematics from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1966. He retired from Simon Fraser University in 1998 after having been there for 33 years, and is now a professor emeritus. Currently, he is a conjoint professor in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Brian specializes in discrete mathematics with an emphasis on graph theory and its applications, and has published more than 100 research papers. He received the prestigious Euler Medal in 2014 from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications in recognition of a distinguished lifetime career of contributions to combinatorial research.

Chris Rodger
Auburn University

Chris received a PhD in 1982 from the University of Reading, England. He is currently a professor and the Don Logan Endowed Chair of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Auburn University. His research interests are in combinatorics, graph theory, and design theory. He has published over 180 research papers, served on numerous editorial boards, and supervised 29 PhD students. Chris has received several awards and honors, including the Hall Medal in 1994 from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications for extensive quality research with substantial international impact during mid-career. He regularly participates in outreach programs for elementary students, high school students, and mathematics teachers.

Saad El Zanati
Illinois State University

Saad is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University. He received a PhD in mathematics from Auburn University in 1991. Saad is an expert in the fields of graph theory and design theory, having published over 80 research papers. He regularly runs an REU on the campus of Illinois State University for pre-service and in-service secondary mathematics teachers, and has worked on research with more than 40 students through these programs. In 2002, Saad received the Hall Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications.

Tommaso Traetta

University of Padova, Italy

Tommaso is an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Engineering at the University of Padova, Vicenza, Italy. He received a PhD in mathematics and computer science from the University of Perugia in 2010. His research interests are centered in the fields of graph theory and design theory with a special attention to the symmetries of combinatorial structures.  Tommaso is a Marie Curie fellow who has recently been awarded the Kirkman Medal 2013 of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications.

David Clark
(Everyday Combinatorics)
Grand Valley State University

David is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University. He received a PhD in mathematics from Michigan Technological University in 2011. His research interests are centered at the intersection of three areas of combinatorics: design theory, coding theory, and finite geometries. He also has a strong interest in math education and did a postdoc at the School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs, University of Minnesota from 2012-2014. David enjoys enrichment and outreach activities and regularly takes part in a summer program for very talented middle school students. He also organizes and takes part in Family Math Nights at local schools.

Special Session — Everyday Combinatorics

The Everyday Combinatorics session will be held during the morning of August 10th. Participants in the Everyday Combinatorics session are invited to attend the entire conference, but they are especially encouraged to attend the talks that happen during the afternoon of August 10th. We will schedule research talks that afternoon which most closely relate to the topics that are the focus of the Everyday Combinatorics session from the morning.

Everyday Combinatorics Attendees

Denise Wilder, L'Anse Area Schools
Lisa Raffaelli, Jeffers High School
Zach Cresswell, Mount Pleasant High School
Lara McMillan, Detroit Country Day School

Graph Decomposition Attendees

Brian Alspach, The University of New Castle, Australia 
Chris Rodger, Auburn University
Tommaso Traetta, University of Padova, Italy
Saad El-Zanati, Illinois State University
David Clark, Grand Valley State University
Jane Butterfield, University of Victoria
Daniel Schultheis, Smith College
Ken Saito, Tohuku University
John Asplund, Dalton State College
Bryan Freyberg, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Emily Anible, Michigan Technological University
William Keith, Michigan Technological University
Don Kreher, Michigan Technological University
Zazil Santizo Huerta, Michigan Technological University
Zhongyuan Che, Penn State University, Beaver Campus
Dan Roberts, Illinois Wesleyan University
Cody Hatzer, Illinois State University
Dalibor Froncek, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Michael Tait, Carnegie Mellon University
Katherine Perry, University of Denver
Kristin Koe, Illinois State University
Ugar Odabasi, Istanbul Universitesi
Ryan Bunge, Illinois State University
Joel Jeffries, Iowa State University
Lisa Thimm, St. Ambrose University
Lon Mitchell, American Mathematical Society
Andrew Brusso, Michigan Technological University
Frank Allaire, Lakehead University
Anthony Marcich, Michigan Technological University
Casey Loring, Michigan Technological University
Matt Grulke, Michigan Technological University


  • National Science Foundation
  • Partially Funded by a generous gift from Igor Kliakhandler