Curtis Barefoot

Personal

First Name: Curtis
Last Name: Barefoot

Education

Degree: Ph.D.
Graduation Year: 1980
Major: Mathematics

Degree: B.S.

College: New Mexico Tech
Degree: M.S.

Degree: M.S.

Biography

Employment since 2008: Department Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico Tech University

Curtis Barefoot was born and raised in Baltimore. Like African American Mathematicians Scott Williams, and Leon Woodson, he attended the excellent public high school called Baltimore City College. Apparently Amassa Fauntleroy and Daniel Outing went to the rival school, Baltimore Polytechnic High School.

 

From an obituary:

 

Yellow, his favorite color, is symbolic of sunshine and optimism, the latter a quality Barefoot had in abundance, even as he struggled against the insidious disease that claimed his life.

As word of his death traveled across the New Mexico Tech campus, students, faculty and staff remembered Barefoot as a kind and gentle man, and an excellent and dedicated teacher. Those feelings were further defined at the memorial service held in his honor.

Dr. Anwar Hossain, a friend and colleague of Barefoot, first met him in 1993, and in 1996 were fellow commuters in the vanpool that travels between Albuquerque and Socorro.

"He had an appealing personality and he was very friendly, which is a rare trait, so we began sitting together and enjoying the ride together," said Hossain.

"And soon we became good friends. Once we arrived on campus, we would sometimes walk around together on campus and talk about many things, including personal issues, as well as matters regarding the department."

Hossain said Barefoot never hesitated at the opportunity to make new friends, and that his geniality was infectious.

"Whenever he called me, his first remarks would usually be, 'Hey, guy, what's happening'" Hossain said. The last time the two friends and colleagues got together was in the backyard at Hossain's home, with Barefoot's wife, Olga, and a family friend.

They sat outside by the pool under a sunny sky and chatted.

"That day I did not realize that this would be the last time Curtis would come to visit my home and meet my family," Hossain said. "As a person, he was very simple, honest and always optimistic. Although he is not with us, his good deeds will."

Barefoot was generous with his time, and patient with his students ­ even those who weren't in his classes. One of those students was Suhaila Hossain.

"Dr. Barefoot was one of the few people who helped me understand math, especially trigonometry, when I was an Eldorado High School student," she said. "Countless times I have gone to people for help and never really understood anything. However, my experience with Dr. Barefoot was not like this.

"I remember that he would always be more than happy to help me," said Suhaila, adding that Barefoot was able to explain complex concepts in a way she could understand.

Suhaila spoke for hundreds of Barefoot's students when she said how much she appreciated "all the things he did for me, and I hoped that he knew how helpful he was to me."

Curtis Anthony Barefoot was born in Baltimore and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1968. He earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1972 from Bucknell University, and two master's degrees ­ one in computer science from John Hopkins University, and the other in mathematics from New Mexico Tech.

After receiving his Ph.D. in math from the University of New Mexico in 1980, Barefoot went to work for Sandia National Laboratories, before taking a professorship at UNM.

He also taught at the University of Colorado at Denver before joining the faculty at New Mexico Tech.

Mathematics was his first love and passion, and Barefoot also enjoyed playing classical guitar.

John Orman, a New Mexico Tech alumnus now working for the college as a software engineer, first met Barefoot at Sandia Labs, and later ran into him at a Bubonicon, an annual science fiction convention in Albuquerque.

"Of course, it never occurred to me then that I would ever be working at Tech, or that I would even take a class from Barefoot," Orman said.

Later, he learned from others that Barefoot was ill. Orman said Barefoot never complained, never appeared to be in pain.

"I would never have known how sick he really was except for what other people were telling me," said Orman. "But then he progressively missed more classes as the semester went on, so I knew things were getting worse.

"Dr. Barefoot was a very large guy with an even bigger heart, a good teacher, and an incredibly gentle and soft-spoken guy," Orman said. "He is one of those people you wish you had had a chance to get to know better."

Curtis is survived by his wife of 26 years, Olga, and his stepson, Ivan Begley. His family included a sister, many aunts and uncles and countless cousins.

 

RESEARCH

area: Combinatorics

  1. Barefoot, Curtis Block-cutvertex trees and block-cutvertex partitions. Discrete Math. 256 (2002), no. 1-2, 35--54.
  2. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, R. C.; Székely, L. A. Extremal values for ratios of distances in treesDiscrete Appl. Math. 80 (1997), no. 1, 37--56.
  3. Barefoot, C. A.; Clark, L. H.; Entringer, R. C.; Porter, T. D.; Székely, L. A.; Tuza, Zs. Cycle-saturated graphs of minimum size. Selected papers in honour of Paul Erdös on the occasion of his 80th birthday (Keszthely, 1993). Discrete Math. 150 (1996), no. 1-3, 31--48.
  4. Barefoot, Curtiss; Casey, Karen; Fisher, David; Fraughnaugh, Kathryn; Harary, Frank Size in maximal triangle-free graphs and minimal graphs of diameter $2$. 14th British Combinatorial Conference (Keele, 1993). Discrete Math. 138 (1995), no. 1-3, 93--99.
  5. Barefoot, C. A. Interpolation and related topicsJ. Combin. Math. Combin. Comput.15 (1994), 65--96.
  6. Barefoot, C. A.; Clark, L. H.; Depew, A. J.; Entringer, R. C.; Székely, L. A. Subdivision thresholds for two classes of graphs. 13th British Combinatorial Conference (Guildford, 1991). Discrete Math. 125 (1994), no. 1-3, 15--30.
  7. Barefoot, C. A. $4$-connected Halin graphs are $2$-Hamiltonian connectedArs Combin. 35 (1993), A, 109--128.
  8. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, R. C.; Mullhaupt, A. P. Computer based proofs by induction in graph theory---a house of cards? Graph-theoretic models in computer science, II (Las Cruces, NM, 1988--1990). Math. Comput. Modelling 17 (1993), no. 11, 17--23.
  9. Barefoot, C. A.; Clark, L. H.; Douthett, Jack; Entringer, R. C.; Fellows, M. R. Cycles of length $0$ modulo $3$ in graphs. Graph theory, combinatorics, and applications, Vol. 1 (Kalamazoo, MI, 1988), 87--101, Wiley-Intersci. Publ., Wiley, New York, 1991.
  10. Barefoot, Curtiss; Harary, Frank; Jones, Kathryn F. What is the difference between the domination and independent domination numbers of a cubic graph? Graphs Combin. (1991), no. 2, 205--208.
  11. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, R. C.; Jackson, D. E. Graph theoretic modelling of cellular development. II. Nineteenth Southeastern Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing (Baton Rouge, LA, 1988). Congr. Numer. 65 (1988), 135--145.
  12. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, G. Computer observations of cycles in cubic graphsComput. Math. Appl. 15 (1988), no. 4, 241--246.
  13. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, Roger; Swart, Henda Integrity of trees and powers of cycles. Eighteenth Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1987). Congr. Numer. 58 (1987), 103--114.
  14. Barefoot, C. A. Hamiltonian connectivity of the Halin graphs. Eighteenth Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1987). Congr. Numer. 58 (1987), 93--102.
  15. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, Roger; Swart, Henda Vulnerability in graphs---a comparative survey. Proceedings of the first Carbondale combinatorics conference (Carbondale, Ill., 1986). J. Combin. Math. Combin. Comput. 1 (1987), 13--22.
  16. Barefoot, Curtiss; Jones, Kathryn F.; Lundgren, J. Richard; Maybee, John Biclique covers of regular digraphs. Proceedings of the seventeenth Southeastern international conference on combinatorics, graph theory, and computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1986). Congr. Numer. 53 (1986), 147--154.
  17. Barefoot, Curtiss; Hefner, Kim A. S.; Jones, Kathryn F.; Lundgren, J. Richard Biclique covers of the complements of cycles and paths in a digraph. Proceedings of the seventeenth Southeastern international conference on combinatorics, graph theory, and computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1986). Congr. Numer. 53 (1986), 133--146.
  18. Barefoot, C. A.; Clark, Lane; Entringer, Roger Cubic graphs with the minimum number of cycles. Proceedings of the seventeenth Southeastern international conference on combinatorics, graph theory, and computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1986). Congr. Numer. 53 (1986), 49--62.
  19. Barefoot, C. A. $r$-partial line graphs. Proceedings of the sixteenth Southeastern international conference on combinatorics, graph theory and computing (Boca Raton, Fla., 1985). Congr. Numer. 47 (1985), 89--105.
  20. Barefoot, C. A.; Entringer, R. C.; Jackson, D. E. Graph-theoretic modeling of cellular development: a hypothetical example embodying death. Proceedings of the fifteenth Southeastern conference on combinatorics, graph theory and computing (Baton Rouge, La., 1984). Congr. Numer. 43 (1984), 97--116.

Personal or Universal URL: http://www.nmt.edu/~math/faculty/barefoot/curt.html
obituary: http://infohost.nmt.edu/mainpage/obituaries/barefoot.html

 

Lifetime

Year Born: 1951
Year Deceased: 2004