Brendan McKay

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For the baseball player, see Brendan McKay (baseball).

Brendan Damien McKay (born 26 October 1951 in Melbourne, Australia) is a Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University (ANU). He has published extensively in combinatorics.

McKay received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Melbourne in 1980. His thesis, Topics in Computational Graph Theory, was written under the direction of Derek Holton.[1]

One of McKay's main contributions has been a practical algorithm for the graph isomorphism problem and its software implementation NAUTY (No AUTomorphisms, Yes?). Further achievements include proving with Stanisław Radziszowski that the Ramsey number R(4,5) = 25, proving with Radziszowski that no 4-(12, 6, 6) combinatorial designs exist, determining with Gunnar Brinkmann the number of posets on 16 points, and determining with Ian M. Wanless the number of Latin squares of size 11.

Outside of this specialty, McKay is best known for his collaborative work with a group of Israeli mathematicians that criticizes the Bible code hypothesis by arguing that the patterns in the Bible that supposedly indicate some hidden message from a divine source or have predictive power can be just as easily found in other works, such as War and Peace. Their work is used to challenge Michael Drosnin's arguments about a special Biblical code.[2][3]

He gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2010, on the topic of "Combinatorics".[4]


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