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Date: May 27, 2009
Robin Thomas was one of the four-person research team that was awarded the 2009 Fulkerson Prize. The other team members were Maria Chudnovsky (Columbia University), Neal Robertson (Ohio State University), and Paul Seymour (Princeton University). Thomas serves as Director of the Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. He and his colleagues are being recognized for their paper: The Strong Perfect Graph Theorem, Annals of Mathematics Vol. 164 (2006), 51-229, in which they resolved the long-standing conjecture of Claude Berge: A graph is perfect if and only if it contains an odd hole or the complement of an odd hole as an induced subgraph (an odd hole is an odd cycle on five or more vertices).
The Fulkerson Prize is sponsored jointly by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Programming Society. This year's prize, including a $1500 cash award, will be presented at the opening session of the 20th International Symposium on Mathematical Programming in Chicago, on August 23, 2009. Thomas, along with Robertson and Seymour, also shared the 1994 Fulkerson Prize. It is very rare to have repeat awards in such a competition.