Graph Theory in America: The First Hundred Years

Robin Wilson

Discover the captivating story of the birth and growth of graph theory in America! From its inception in 1876 to the groundbreaking proof of the four color conjecture in 1976, Graph Theory in America takes you on a journey through the key moments and influential figures that shaped the field.

Rather than simply listing events, the authors weave together the personal stories of these mathematicians, highlighting their contributions to graph theory. Interludes provide a glimpse into the parallel developments in Europe, showcasing the global influence of this evolving field.

Notably, Graph Theory in America includes an extensive chronological timeline, spanning from 1636 to 2021, providing a comprehensive view of the historical context. While prior knowledge of graph theory is not necessary, it can enhance the reading experience.

What sets Graph Theory in America apart is its inclusion of 18 important papers on graph theory, offering deeper insights into pivotal moments. The main text balances formulas and mathematics with a focus on the people and their stories.

At the heart of the narrative lies the four color problem, which dominates the early and concluding chapters of the book. However, the authors also touch on other applications of graph theory, such as logical and electrical circuits, recreational mathematics, and more.

Additionally, Graph Theory in America explores the characters of the mathematicians involved and the impact of world events, like the two World Wars, on the field. It paints a holistic picture of the growth and development of mathematics in America and its integration within the global mathematics community.

In summary, Graph Theory in America: The First Hundred Years provides a wealth of information in an accessible and engaging format. While it delves into technical discussions where necessary, it remains focused on its primary goal: uncovering the history of graph theory in America. It is not designed as an introductory text, but rather as an exploration of the fascinating individuals, key moments, and groundbreaking discoveries within the field.