William F. (Bill) Smyth                

Welcome to my home page!
You are Visitor No. 108710 since 1 December 2001.

Regarded at its birth in 2007 as a one-off event, StringMasters seems to be here to stay. Since 2007 it has been held at least once every year at a large variety of places: Perth, Western Australia; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Palermo & Verona, Italy; Prague, Czech Republic; Rouen, France; Warsaw, Poland; and several times more at McMaster University. In 2015 for the first time it was sponsored by the Centre for Combinatorics on Words & Applications (CCWA) of Murdoch University, Western Australia.

Papers emerging from StringMasters 2007 & 2008 were published in a special issue 97-3 (2009) of Fundamenta Informaticae. Papers coming out of the 2009-2011 StringMasters meetings appeared in Journal of Discrete Algorithms 10 (2012) and JDA 20 (2013); a two-volume special issue of the same journal will publish papers from the 2012-2013 meetings.

Please take note that the International Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms held its 2017 meeting 17-21 July in Newcastle, Australia, to commemorate Mirka Miller, one of the founders of IWOCA, my old friend and colleague, who passed away in January 2016.

IWOCA 2018 was held at NUS in glamorous Singapore, organized by Wing-Kin (Ken) Sung.

In July 2019 IWOCA was held in Pisa, Italy, under the supervision of Roberto Grossi & Nadia Pisanti.

Then in 2020, the year of the pandemic, IWOCA, under the supervision of Ralf Klasing, went on-line, one of the first scientific gatherings to do so. Originally scheduled to be held 08-10 June at the Université de Bordeaux, it was held on time as described here.

In 2021 IWOCA returns to Canada for the first time since 2011.


To mark my 80th birthday (a long time ago now), Theoretical Computer Science published a special issue on Stringology.

The CCWA has established an Open Problems Garden for Combinatorics on Words and String Algorithms.

Current Status
Emeritus Professor, Algorithms Research Group, Department of Computing & Software (C&S), McMaster University
Professor, School of Computational Science & Engineering, McMaster University
Visiting Professor, Algorithm Design Group, Department of Informatics, King's College London
Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Collaborator, School of Engineering & Information Technology, Murdoch University
Information Technology Building (ITB) 130 (= 10 X a lucky number)
1-905-525-9140 ext. 23436 (not currently operational)
Electronic Mail
smyth``AT''mcmaster``FULL STOP''ca
1990 Curtin University of Technology, Ph.D. (Computing Science)
1983 University of Ottawa, M.Sc. (Applied Mathematics)
1957 University of Toronto, B.A. (Pure Mathematics)

Areas of Interest (see C&S Algorithms Research Group)

Combinatorial Algorithms, Especially Algorithms on Strings
Graph Theory & Its Applications
Various Social/Cultural Issues

Membership in Professional Organizations

1966 Association for Computing Machinery
1966 American Mathematical Society
1966 Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics
1974 Mathematical Association of America
1983 British Computer Society (Fellow)
1987 Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia
1989 European Association for Theoretical Computer Science
1990 Institute of Combinatorics & Its Applications (Foundation Fellow)
1990 Engineering Council (Chartered Engineer)
2006 International Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms (Steering Committee Member, resigned 2020)
2009 Mathematical Reviews (Reviewer)
2012 Mitacs College of Reviewers
2013 StringMasters (Steering Committee Member)

Membership in Other Organizations

1986 Mosman Park Tennis Club
1995 Society for Academic Freedom & Scholarship
2001 Rosedale Tennis Club
2011 Never Again Group

Current Teaching & Supervision
Refereed Publications
Selected Publications
Can We Compute Runs Efficiently? -- a lecture (September 2014) on recent combinatorial results
Are Three Squares Impossible? -- three lectures (May 2012) on overlapping squares
Simon's Collection of Test Strings
Sarah Banyassady: Code for Approximate Repeats using Multiple Spaced Seeds

Open Letter to the Editor, MAA Focus
Last revised: Monday, 28-Dec-2020 11:31:55 EST