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Department of         Mathematical Sciences
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John Mackey, Teaching Professor
Ph.D., University of Hawaii
Office: Wean Hall 7130
Phone: 412-268-6881


I like to hunt for elusive mathematical objects having special properties. For example, assuming that every pair of people are either acquaintances or strangers, it is not known whether it is possible to have a party of 43 people at which no five people are mutual acquaintances and no five people are mutual strangers. It may be fun for you to construct the largest conceivable party at which no three people are mutual acquaintances and no three people are mutual strangers.

My primary activities in the department are teaching, advising first and second year students, serving on curriculum and education committees, helping to make class schedules and orient teachers, mentoring math club and various other campus groups, hosting and reaching out to prospective students and their parents and reviewing transfer credit requests. I am a co-PI on the recent NSF Debt-M grant to help Pittsburgh Public School Students close the opportunity gap faced in their pursuit of mathematics.

Selected Publications:

  • A Lower Bound for Groupies in Graphs, Journal of Graph Theory, 21 (1996), pp. 323-326
  • A Cube Tiling of Dimension Eight with no Facesharing, Discr. Comput. Geom., 28 (2002), pp. 275-279