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Memorial lecture to address group preference

The second annual Frank Harary Memorial Lecture will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the New Mexico State University Science Hall Room 107.


Harary was a distinguished professor in the NMSU Computer Science Department from 1987 until he passed away in 2005. Harary was widely recognized as one of the pioneers of modern graph theory, a discipline of mathematics he helped found, popularize and revitalize.

The lecture, "Majority-Rule Consensus: From Preferences (Social Choice) to Trees (Biology and Classification Theory)," will be given by F.R. "Buck" McMorris, dean of the college of science and letters and professor of applied mathematics and computer science at Illinois Institute of Technology.

McMorris said the problem of aggregating the individual preferences of a group of "voters" into a group consensus has been studied for many years and that the majority-rule consensus is so simple that it seems nothing really interesting can be said about it. He said the presentation will give some historic background in classical preference and then point out some new and old mathematical computational complexity results pertaining to the use of the majority-rule paradigm.

Harary and McMorris collaborated on a paper published in 1985 that briefly discussed the subject of majority-rule.