Anthony (Tony) Ralston's Home Page

Anthony Ralston (Click for vita)
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Mathematics
State University of New York at Buffalo



360 Everett Avenue
Palo Alto, CA  94301

Phone: (650) 521 0709

Author and Mathematics Education Consultant


Last updated: 24 July 2011


Brief Curriculum Vitae

Academic Positions:

1. State University of New York at Buffalo:

Department of Computer Science: Professor, 1967-95; Chair, 1967-80;
Department of Mathematics: Professor, 1965-95;
Office of Computer Services: Director, 1965-70.

2. Department of Computing, Imperial College, London: Academic Visitor, 1995-2003.

3. Centre for Educational Studies, Kings College, London: Visiting Professor, 1992-93.

4. Department of Computing, Imperial College, London: Visiting Professor, 1985-86.

5. Department of Statistics and Computer Science, University College, London:
Visiting Professor, 1978-79.

6. Institute of Computer Science, University of London: Visiting Senior
Research Fellow, 1971-72.

7. Stevens Institute of Technology:
Department of Mathematics: Associate Professor, 1961-64; Professor, 1964-65
Computing Center: Director, 1961-65.


Books - Click for recent titles.

Papers - Click for recent math education papers.

Main Professional Activities:

Association for Computing Machinery: President, 1972-74
American Federation of Information Processing Societies: President, 1975-76
Mathematical Association of America: Member, Board of Governors, 1984-87


Computer Task Group, 1968-75
Rand Capital Corporation, 1969-71
Genesee Computer Center, 1975-83
Albert Court (Westminster) Management Company, 2002-
Albert Court (Westminster) Freehold Company, 2002-


Board of Examiners, Graduate Record Examination in Computer Science, 1975-82
Computer Science and Technology Board, National Research Council, 1977-79
MIT Corporation Visiting Committee, Dept. of EE and CS, 1976-79
Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Research Council, 1985-89
Advisory Board, University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, 1985-89
Executive Committee, Knightsbridge Association

Editor, Abacus (Quarterly journal published by Springer), 1983-88

Listed in:

Who's Who in America
American Men and Women of Science
Computer Pioneers (IEEE Computer Society Press, 1995)


ACM: Distinguished Service Award, 1982; Fellow, 1994
AAAS: Fellow, 1989
Royal Society of Arts, Fellow, 1996

Recent Books

1. Encyclopedia of Computer Science, fourth edition published in July 2000.

2. Teach Yourself Algorithms, (co-authored with Hugh Neill), Hodder & Stoughton, 1997. Click to see Table of Contents.

3. Discrete Algorithmic Mathematics , (co-authored with Stephen Maurer), third edition, A K Peters, 2004. Click for Table of Contents.

Teach Yourself Algorithms - Table of Contents

1. Definitions and Examples
2. Iterative and Recursive Algorithms
3. Number Theory Algorithms
4. Algorithms from Algebra
5. Searching and Sorting
6. Algorithms from Linear Algebra
7. Graph and Tree Algorithms
8. Algorithms from Calculus
9. Recursive Algorithms
10. Parallel Algorithms
11. String Algorithms
12. Verification of Algorithms
13. Algorithms to Computer and Calculator Programs
Appendix: Summary of Algorithmic Language

Discrete Algorithmic Mathematics - Table of Contents

Prologue. What Is Discrete Algorithmic Mathematics?
0. Mathematical Preliminaries
1. Algorithms
2. Mathematical Induction
3. Graphs and Trees
4. Fundamental Counting Methods
5. Difference Equations
6. Probability
7. An Introduction to Mathematical Logic
Epilogue. Coming Full Circle with Biology and Minimax Theorems

Recent Book Reviews

1. Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma, American Mathematical Monthly, December 2001, 988-992. (Click for text of review)

2. A Computer Called LEO by Georgina Ferry, Nature, 7 August 2003.

3. California Dreaming: Reforming Mathematics Education by Suzanne M. Wilson, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, November, 2003, 1245-1249. (Click for text of review)

4.The Other End of the Log by Stephen S. Willoughby, American Mathematical Monthly, January 2004, 72-75. (Click for text of review)

Recent Editorials

1. Advice to the Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Rocky Mountain News, 25 July 2005. (Click for text)

2. The Real Scandal in American School Mathematics, Education Week, 27 April 2005. (Click for text)

3. The Next Disaster in American Education: Rising Test Scores, The Sacramento Bee, 1 December 2002. (Click for text.)

Recent Math Ed Papers

1. Research Mathematicians and Mathematics Education: A Critique [2004]: Notices of the American Mathematica1 Society, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 403-411. (Click for text of paper.)

2. Let's Abolish Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic [1999]: Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Education, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 173-194. (Click for text of paper.)

3. A Zero-Based Curriculum: What It Is and How It Might Be Used, [1997]: Proceedings of a Working Group at the Eighth International Congress on Mathematical Education, Seville, July 1996, Nottingham: Shell Centre for Mathematics Education, pp. 1-10.

4. Calculators and the Changing Role of Computation in Elementary School Mathematics (with Robert Reys and Barbara Reys) [1996]: Hiroshima Journal of Mathematics Education, Vol. 4, pp. 63-71.

5. A Zero-Based Mathematics Curriculum [1994]: Bulletin of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction, June, pp. 14-18.

6. Understanding Mathematics: The Impact of Technology [1993]: In Schools, Mathematics and the World of Reality, Davis, R.B. and Maher, C.M., Eds., Allyn and Bacon, pp.79-92.

7. The Effect of Technology on Teaching Mathematics [1989]: In Proceedings of a Conference on Technology and Mathematics, Addison-Wesley, pp. 78-82.

8. A Framework for the School Mathematics Curriculum in 2000 [1988]: In Proceedings of the International Conference on Mathematics Education, Budapest.

9. Can the United States Afford Not to Have a National Mathematics Curriculum? [1988]: In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Mathematics Education, University of Chicago.


Four Editions and Eight Publishers: A History of the Encyclopedia of Computer Science [2004]: Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 42-52 (Click for text of paper)


The Case Against Long Division