Brian Alspach

The Combinatorial Potlatch Home Page

Since 1982

Speakers, U Vic, 2013
Brian Alspach
U of Puget Sound, February 2002

Richard Hoshino, Jérémie Lumbroso, Dillon Mayhew
University of Victoria, 2013

The Combinatorial Potlatch is an international one-day conference, usually occuring in mid-November. It has been held for many years at various locations around Puget Sound and southern British Columbia, and is an opportunity for combinatorialists in the region to gather informally for a day of invited talks and conversation. While most who attend work in, or near, the Puget Sound basin, all are welcome. Typically there are two or three talks given by speakers who are visiting or new to the area, along with breaks for coffee and lunch. Many participants remain for dinner at a local restaurant or pub.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "potlatch" as: A ceremonial feast among certain Native American peoples of the northwest Pacific coast, as in celebration of a marriage or an accession, at which the host distributes gifts according to each guest's rank or status. Between rival groups the potlatch could involve extravagant or competitive giving and destruction by the host of valued items as a display of superior wealth. [Chinook Jargon, from Nootka p'achitl, to make a potlatch gift.]

News about the Next Potlatch

The 2014 edition of the Potlatch will be held Saturday, November 22, at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Details will evolve at the conference web page.

2014 Conference Web Page

Thanks to Richard Hoshino, Jérémie Lumbroso, and Dillon Mayhew for excellent presentations at the November 2013 meeting at the University of Victoria, and special thanks to Gary MacGillivray for being an excellent host. We also appreciate generous support from the University of Victoria's Mathematics and Statistics Department and the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Conference Photo, U Vic, 2013
Conference Photo, University of Victoria, November 2013

Announcements of Upcoming Potlatches

Rob Beezer (beezer at ups dot edu) maintains an email list of people interested in receiving announcements of upcoming Potlatches. Contact him via email to have your name added.

History of the Potlatch

The first Potlatch that anyone can recall was held in 1982 at the University of Washington (though Pavol Hell insists there were meetings in the 70's). From that time, through 1997, Brian Alspach was the prime mover and organizer. After a few years' hiatus, Nancy Neudauer and Rob Beezer resurrected the tradition in 2002. There have been at least 30 meetings over the past 31 years. A history, as best as can be reconstructed, is available in HTML and PDF formats.

Photo Archives

Old Conference Photos and Speakers Photos are available also.

Potlatch Web Pages

Organizing Committee

Nancy Neudauer, Pacific University (nancy at pacificu dot edu)
Rob Beezer, University of Puget Sound (beezer at ups dot edu)

This is:   Last updated: November 28, 2013