J. Scott Provan

Professor Emeritus

136 Hanes Hall
(919) 962-3836
Network Design, Linear and Combinatorial Optimization, Bioinformatics


Ph.D. (1977) Operations Research, Cornell University

Professional Background:

Assistant Professor in the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1977 through 1982, spending 1980-82 as an NRC Postdoctoral Associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. At the University of North Carolina since 1982; visited at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in 1988-89. Held the Paul Ziff Term Professorship at the University of North Carolina for the period 1994-97, and was chair of the department from 1995-2000.

Selected Publications:

Network Reliability, with C.J. Colbourn and M.O. Ball, Chapter 11 in Handbooks in OR & MS 7, Elsevier Science, 1995 673-762

Minimal connected enclosures on an embedded planar graph, with C. Alexopolous, H.D. Ratliff, and B.R. Stutzman. Discrete Applied Mathematics 91 1999, 25–38.

A fully polynomial approximation scheme for the Euclidean Steiner augmentation problem, in Advances in Steiner Trees D.-Z. Du, J.M. Smith, and J.H. Rubinstein (eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000, 235–253.

On the structure and complexity of the 2-connected Steiner network problem in the plane, with E.L. Luebke, Operations Research Letters26 2000, 111–116.

Research Interests:

Areas of research include: network and combinatorial reliability, Steiner tree and other network design problems, polyhedral combinatorics, combinatorial listing and enumeration algorithms, and other network and combinatorial optimization problems. He is currently developing the IDEASM database — an instructional database of algorithms in operations research and related mathematical areas specifically designed for learning the use of software.

Ph.D. Students:
Emily Luebke