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User:Jon E. Schoenfield

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Longtime math hobbyist and contributor to the OEIS, and OEIS editor for several years.

I have coauthored only one published paper. It is NOT the one that bears my name at A004251. I did compute terms a(8) and a(9) of A064626 in 2007, and I revisited the problem in 2008 and computed terms a(11) and a(12), but although my name appears as the second of the two authors named on the paper in the Links section of the related sequence A004251, I never knew such a paper was even planned until I did an Internet search for my name one day (wondering whether people were still making use of a set of hard instances of the 1-dimensional bin packing problem that I had found some years ago and had included in a draft paper that never got beyond the draft stage) and made the unpleasant discovery of the existence of the published paper. I assume that the other "author" listed on the paper is its actual author, although I've never met him, spoken with him, or even corresponded with him directly.

I didn't know such a thing could happen. In case anyone reading this is interested in how it happened: Some time before the paper appeared, I received an email from someone saying that he and another individual (the one whose name now appears as the first of the two authors of the paper) were interested in sharing information with me about A064626 and trying to compute more terms; I sent a reply briefly describing my approach, but not long thereafter, family needs necessitated that I sharply curtail my time spent on (what was to me) merely recreational mathematics, and I sent a second email in which I apologized that I needed to bow out and attached a copy of a program I had written for computing terms of A064626, and I don't recall ever having heard from him again. Some months later, when searching for my name on the Internet, I was very unhappily surprised to discover that a paper had been published with my name on it as one of its two authors. I had never seen the paper, and never been asked about being named as an author, and, if asked, I certainly would've declined. The only name I recognize in the list of people whom "The authors thank" in the Acknowledgements section is that of the person with whom I had had the very limited correspondence some months earlier. (Some months after I made the unpleasant discovery of the existence of the paper naming me as an author, a link to the paper was added to the Links section of A004251.) I'm unable to follow completely the pseudocode in the section about the "Recursive accepting test" that the paper specifically attributes to me, but it seems clear to me that it has errors (e.g., how would the process ever reach the code in any of the lines numbered 31 through 36, or 53 through 55?). As a mere math hobbyist, I certainly don't feel qualified to offer an assessment of the overall value of the paper ... but should I ever need to look for a job doing some kind of editing work, I hope no one reviewing my résumé comes across the paper and takes it as representative of my work!

The only published paper I have actually coauthored is the one that I had the honor of coauthoring with Peter Boyland, Gabriella Pintér, István Laukó, Ivan Roth, and Stephen Wasielewski: "On the Maximum Number of Non-intersecting Diagonals in an Array", which was published in the Journal of Integer Sequences (see A264041). All my correspondence regarding that paper was with Gabriella Pintér (Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). I very much enjoyed corresponding with her as we worked out some of the mathematics and developed a number of figures and tables for the paper (and I was very appreciative of her patience regarding my extremely picky editorial feedback on multiple drafts!). I feel very blessed to have been able to work with her.

I've found the OEIS to be a valuable resource and a good place to learn about a wide variety of mathematical topics. If you're new to the OEIS, I hope you will, too!