Graph Theory of Brian Alspach
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.
May 25 - 29, 2003
Sponsors are the
Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, Simon Fraser University, The School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University and The Department of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University. The official conference page is at PIMS at
Conference synopsis
The conference is in celebration of Brian Alspach's 65th birthday.

Vertex-transitive graphs, especially Cayley graphs, have been investigated for many years and are still the subject of numerous research problems. Graph decompositions have an even longer history. The two areas overlap significantly because many decomposition problems and results deal with vertex-transitive graphs. The conference will present current research in both areas, as well as other current developments in graph theory.

Anyone with an interest in graph theory is invited.

Organizing Committee
Invited speakers
Invited speakers are:
Brian Alspach
Brian Alspach, one of the most influential graph theorists of the past four decades, will be 65 years old on May 29, 2003.

Brian's pioneering works, fundamental discoveries and celebrated results have had significant impact on several mainstream subjects of graph theory and, most importantly, have led the research direction of many mathematicians of the younger generation. He has dedicated significant effort and resources to the mentoring of talented young researchers. In addition to the many students whose work he has supervised directly, Brian has taken an active interest and been an influential force in the careers of numerous young graph theorists around the world.

His very early work (in the 1960's) about pan-cyclic properties of tournaments initiated the major research direction of hamiltonian connectivity in directed graphs which is now a fruitful subject area with hundreds of papers. He did seminal research on the conjecture about the existence of Hamilton cycles in Cayley graphs, one of the most well-known open problems in graph theory and algebraic graph theory. His leadership and contributions in this area have had a significant impact on results and the work of others. The reduction methods and the quotient graph expanding technique developed by Brian have provided one of the most fundamental approaches in the study of the structure of vertex-transitive graphs.

The development of metacirculant graphs by Alspach and Parsons has played a central role in many algebraic graph theory problems. A fundamental result of Alspach (jointly with others in 1990's) about cycle cover problems and Petersen minors is one of the most significant works in the study of vertex-transitive graphs that are not Cayley graphs. This fundamental work has led to solutions of several open problems and has important impacts far beyond the graph decomposition area, in such fields as graph embedding, cycle cover optimization, flow problems and graph colorings.

Finding a method for decomposing a complete graph into cycles of some fixed lengths has been a long standing problem studied by many mathematicians. The origin of this problem can be traced back to the 19th century. There were many partial results beginning in the 1960's. Brian (jointly with others) has recently completely solved this long-open problem.

Special Issue of Discrete Mathematics
The deadline for submitting papers for the special issue of Discrete Mathematics honouring Brian Alspach on his 65th birthday is August 31, 2003.

Papers may be submitted either to:

  Alex Rosa
  Dept. of Math. & Statistics
  McMaster University
  Hamilton, Ontario,
  Canada, L8S 4K1
  Hadi Kharaghani
  Dept. of Math. & Computer Science
  University of Lethbridge
  Lethbridge, Alberta
  Canada, T1K 3M4
either in electronic or paper version but an electronic version is preferable.

The deadline for abstract submission has passed but in case you were wondering about the forms we used:
Submit abstract for contributed talk.
Submit abstract for invited talk.

PDF file of abstracts submitted.
Here is the program (part 1) and the revised program (part 2).
The registration fee will be Canadian $150 ($1 Canadian is about 0.73 US and rising), with a reduced rate of $50 for students until May 5 inclusive. After May 5 the fee will be $200 with a reduced rate of $80 for students. Some support is available for postdocs and graduate students.

Registered participants.

The banquet will be held on campus at the Diamond University Center (DUC) on May 27 from 6:30 - 10:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the conference. Ticket prices are as follows:
Including Alcohol  No alcohol
Registered participants$40$30
Graduate students$25$15
Tickets to the banquet are also available to guests, at a cost of $50, which includes alcohol.
Travel and Accommodation
All the conference events will be held at the campus of Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada. See PIMS's visitor information. Other useful information is at these sites: SFU campus map and "How to get to SFU".

Simon Fraser University Conference Accommodations offers excellent rates on accommodation in either the dormitory-style McTaggart Cowan Hall, or 4-bedroom townhouses. The accommodations are on campus, attractively close to conference meeting facilities. Both the townhouses and the dormitory include shared kitchens (kitchenware not supplied).

Rate is $40 CAD/night plus taxes for the townhouses, approx. $28 CAD/night for a single dormitory room, or approx. $48 CAD/night for a dormitory room with twin beds (taxes not included). A block of townhouses has been set aside for the conference, but bookings for the dormitory will also be accepted while space is available.

Parking is $3.50 CAD per day for guests in the residences.

Conference Photos
The local contact is:
  Olga German
  Administrative Assistant
  Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS)

  East Academic Annex          Tel:   (604)268-6655
  Simon Fraser University      Fax:   (604)268-6657
  8888 University Drive        Room:  EAA #120-1205
  Burnaby B.C.                 Email:
  V5A 1S6            

If you have questions or wish to be put on our mailing list, please send e-mail to Hadi Kharaghani at or write to:
  Graph Theory of Brian Alspach,
  Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science,
  University of Lethbridge,
  Lethbridge, Alberta   T1K 3M4
  FAX:            (403) 317-2882