John H. Smith

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John H. Smith was responsible for defining the "Smith set" (among other accomplishments).

John Howard Smith is an American mathematician and retired professor of mathematics at Boston College.[1] He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963, under the supervision of Kenkichi Iwasawa.[1][2]

In voting theory, he is known for the Smith set, the smallest nonempty set of candidates such that, in every pairwise matchup (two-candidate election/runoff) between a member and a non-member, the member is the winner by majority rule, and for the Smith criterion, a property of certain election systems in which the winner is guaranteed to belong to the Smith set.[3] He has also made contributions to spectral graph theory[4] and additive number theory.[5]

See also:


  1. a b Math faculty listing, Boston College, retrieved 2011-03-28.
  2. website "John Howard Smith" (id: 7805) url: .
  3. Smith, J.H. (1973), "Aggregation of Preferences with Variable Electorates", Econometrica, 41 (6): 1027–1041, doi:10.2307/1914033, JSTOR 1914033.
  4. Smith, John H. (1970), "Some properties of the spectrum of a graph", Combinatorial Structures and their Applications (Proc. Calgary Internat. Conf., Calgary, Alta., 1969), New York: Gordon and Breach, pp. 403–406, MR 0266799.
  5. Fein, Burton; Gordon, Basil; Smith, John H. (1971), "On the representation of −1 as a sum of two squares in an algebraic number field", Journal of Number Theory, 3 (3): 310–315, doi:10.1016/0022-314X(71)90005-9, MR 0319940.