W. R. (Red) Alford

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William Robert "Red" Alford (July 21, 1937 – May 29, 2003) was an American mathematician who worked in the field of number theory.


Born in Canton, Mississippi, he was a United States Air Force veteran. He earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics from The Citadel (1959), his Ph.D in mathematics from Tulane University (1963),[1] and his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law (1976) in Athens, Georgia. After earning his J.D. he practiced law in Athens, before returning to the mathematics faculty. He retired in 2002. He died at 65, after suffering from a brain tumor.[2]

With Carl Pomerance and Andrew Granville, he proved the infinity of Carmichael numbers in 1994 [3] based on a conjecture given by Paul Erdős.

His Erdős number is 2.[4]


  1. ^ W. R. (Red) Alford at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "William R. (Red) Alford". Number Theory Web. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  3. ^ W. R. Alford, A. Granville, and C. Pomerance. "There are Infinitely Many Carmichael Numbers." (PostScript) Annals of Mathematics 139 (1994) 703-722.
  4. ^ "Erdos2". The Erdos Number Project. 

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