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Neil Sloane

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Neil Sloane
Neil Sloane in 1997
Born (1939-10-10) October 10, 1939 (age 84)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
Cornell University
Known forSphere Packing, Lattices and Groups (with J. H. Conway), The Theory of Error-Correcting Codes (with F. J. MacWilliams), and the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences
AwardsChauvenet Prize (1979)
Claude E. Shannon Award (1998)
IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (2005)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCornell University
AT&T Bell Laboratories
AT&T Labs
Doctoral advisorFrederick Jelinek, Wolfgang Fuchs

Neil James Alexander Sloane FLSW (born October 10, 1939) is a British-American mathematician.[2] His major contributions are in the fields of combinatorics, error-correcting codes, and sphere packing. Sloane is best known for being the creator and maintainer of the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS).[3]


Sloane was born in Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales, in 1939, moving to Cowes, Isle of Wight, England in 1946. The family emigrated to Australia, arriving at the start of 1949. Sloane then moved from Melbourne to the United States in 1961.[4]

He studied at Cornell University under Nick DeClaris, Frank Rosenblatt, Frederick Jelinek and Wolfgang Heinrich Johannes Fuchs, receiving his Ph.D. in 1967.[5] His doctoral dissertation was titled Lengths of Cycle Times in Random Neural Networks. Sloane joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1968 and retired from AT&T Labs in 2012. He became an AT&T Fellow in 1998. He is also a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales,[6] an IEEE Fellow, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society,[7] and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

He is a winner of a Lester R. Ford Award in 1978[8] and the Chauvenet Prize in 1979.[8] In 1998 he was an Invited Speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin.[9] In 2005 Sloane received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal.[10] In 2008 he received the Mathematical Association of America David P. Robbins Prize, and in 2013 the George Pólya Award.

In 2014, to celebrate his 75th birthday, Sloane shared some of his favorite integer sequences.[11] Besides mathematics, he loves rock climbing and has authored two rock-climbing guides to New Jersey.[12]

He regularly appears in videos for Brady Haran's YouTube channel Numberphile.[13]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Neil James Alexander Sloane, A Handbook of Integer Sequences, Academic Press, NY, 1973.
  • Florence Jessie MacWilliams and Neil James Alexander Sloane, The Theory of Error-Correcting Codes, Elsevier/North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1977.[14][15]
  • M. Harwit and Neil James Alexander Sloane, Hadamard Transform Optics, Academic Press, San Diego CA, 1979.
  • Neil James Alexander Sloane and A. D. Wyner, editors, Claude Elwood Shannon: Collected Papers, IEEE Press, NY, 1993.
  • Neil James Alexander Sloane and S. Plouffe, The Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, Academic Press, San Diego, 1995.
  • J. H. Conway and Neil James Alexander Sloane, Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups, Springer-Verlag, NY, 1st edn., 1988;[16] 2nd edn., 1993;[17] 3rd ed., 1998.
  • A. S. Hedayat, Neil James Alexander Sloane and J. Stufken, Orthogonal Arrays: Theory and Applications, Springer-Verlag, NY, 1999.
  • G. Nebe, E. M. Rains and Neil James Alexander Sloane, Self-Dual Codes and Invariant Theory, Springer-Verlag, 2006.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roselle, David P. (1979). "Award of the Chauvenet Prize to Dr. Neil J. A. Sloane". American Mathematical Monthly. 86 (2): 79. doi:10.2307/2321940. JSTOR 2321940.
  2. ^ Sloane's home page "Neil J. A. Sloane: Home Page". Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  3. ^ Contains information on over three hundred thousand integer sequences "The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences". Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Neil Sloane: the man who loved only integer sequences", The Guardian, October 7, 2014
  5. ^ Neil Sloane at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ "Dr Neil Sloane". Fellows. Learned Society of Wales. 2015. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  7. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-07-20.
  8. ^ a b Sloane, Neil J. A. (1977). "Error correcting codes and invariant theory: new applications of a 19th century technique". Amer. Math. Monthly. 84 (2): 82–107. doi:10.2307/2319929. JSTOR 2319929.
  9. ^ Sloane, N. J. A. (1998). "The sphere packing problem". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. III. pp. 387–396.
  10. ^ "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Bellos, Alex (7 October 2014). "Neil Sloane: the man who loved integer sequences". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  12. ^ Sloane's webpage for the book "Rock Climbing New Jersey". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  13. ^ Sloan, Neil; Haran, Brady. "Neil Sloane on Numberphile". YouTube. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  14. ^ MacWilliams, Florence Jessiem; Sloane, Neil James Alexander (2007) [1977]. Written at AT&T Shannon Labs, Florham Park, New Jersey, USA. The Theory of Error-Correcting Codes. North-Holland Mathematical Library. Vol. 16 (digital print of 12th impression, 1st ed.). Amsterdam / London / New York / Tokyo: North-Holland / Elsevier BV. ISBN 978-0-444-85193-2. LCCN 76-41296. (xxii+762+6 pages)
  15. ^ Pless, Vera (1978). "Review: The theory of error-correcting codes, I and II, by F. J. MacWilliams and N. J. A. Sloane". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 84 (6): 1356–1359. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1978-14578-9.
  16. ^ Guy, Richard K. (1989). "Review: Sphere packings, lattices and groups, by J. H. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 21 (1): 142–147. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1989-15795-9.
  17. ^ Rogers, C. A. (1993). "Review: Sphere packings, lattices and groups, second ed., by J. H. Conway and N. J. A. Sloane". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 29 (2): 306–314. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1993-00435-x.

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