Ivan Rival

Memorial Speeches
Memorial Projects

Memorial Projects

This page describes memorial initiatives and explains how you can assist and/or participate.

New book on Ordered Sets dedicated to Ivan Rival

Diskrete Mathematik (Ganter) cover Dr. Bernhard Ganter dedicated his book, Diskrete Mathematik: Geordnete Mengen (Discrete Mathematics: Ordered Sets), to Ivan, his former colleague and friend. Ganter explains that his unorthodox "little book" aims to entertain by telling stories rather than offer a systematic presentation of the field. It grew out of lecture notes and targets senior undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Read the dedication and table of contents in German (Acrobat PDF).

Here is a translation of the dedication:

This book is dedicated to the memory of the Canadian mathematician and computer scientist Ivan Rival (1947–2002). Ivan advanced the theory of Ordered Sets with great vigour and was influential in inspiring many mathematicians of his time, including the author of this book.
The research community on Order Theory is indebted to Ivan Rival’s great efforts in the 1980s to organize and document a number of symposiums on Ordered Sets [8], Graphs and Order [9], Combinatorics and Ordered Sets [10] and Algorithms and Order [11], which together comprise over 2000 pages of archival literature.
In 1984 Ivan Rival founded the scientific journal Order (“A Journal of the Theory of Ordered Sets and its Applications”).
I trust that he would have very much enjoyed this book.

Another obituary published in math journal Algebra Universalis

Algebra Universalis cover Dr. Bob Quackenbush (University of Manitoba) is the editor of a memorial issue of Algebra Universalis: Volume 53, Numbers 2-3 (August 2005). It complements the more comprehensive obituary published in ORDER by focusing on Ivan's time as a PhD student at the University of Manitoba.

Read Ivan Rival: 1947-2002 (Acrobat PDF, 126 Kb), by Dr. Quackenbush, that appears on pages 141-2.

ORDER: a bronze sculpture about the enterprising mind at work

ORDER sculpture In late 2002, to honour Ivan's life and work, the family commissioned Montreal master sculptor Michel Binette to create a memorial bronze sculpture. Completed in November 2003, the sculpture was inspired by the cover graphic of the journal ORDER that Ivan founded in 1984. Visit ORDER: The Sculpture to see pictures and find out more.

Scientific obituary published in math journal ORDER

Order coverDr. Dwight Duffus (Emory University, Atlanta), Ivan's first PhD student, is the editor of a special memorial issue of ORDER, the mathematics journal Ivan founded: Volume 20, Number 3 (September 2003).

Read Obituary: Ivan Rival (Acrobat PDF, 123 Kb), by Dr. Duffus, that appears on pages 173-183, and includes a complete list of Ivan's publications.

"[...] he loved ideas – mathematical, musical, literary, political. Indeed, there often seemed a tension between the scholar deeply involved in the historical undertaking that is mathematical research, and the entrepreneur and organizer who saw the final proving of ideas in their use. In both the scholarly and entrepreneurial spheres, Ivan’s most important contributions hinged on his ability to define an agenda and excite the participation of colleagues, and on the boundless energy and drive that brought projects to completion and opened the next phase of inquiry." —Dr. Dwight Duffus

Contents of ORDER Volume 20, Number 3:

  • Dwight Duffus, "Obituary: Ivan Rival"
  • Ralph McKenzie, "The zig-zag property and exponential cancellation of ordered sets"
  • Ralph Freese, Jennifer Hyndman and J. B. Nation, "Whaley's theorem for finite lattices"
  • Rudolf Wille, "Truncated distributive lattices: conceptual structures of simple-implicational theories"
  • Alexandr Kostochka and Vladimir Tashkinov, "Decomposing graphs into long paths"
  • H. A. Kierstead and Daqing Yang, "Orderings on graphs and game coloring number"
  • Uri Abraham, Robert Bonnet, Wieslaw Kubis and Matatyahu Rubin, "On poset Boolean algebras"

Beechwood Cemetery monument

Ivan Rival monument at Beechwood CemeteryIn the fall of 2003, the Rival family erected a monument in Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery, Ivan's final resting place. The black granite monument bears the inscription "Mathematician, Computer Scientist, Entrepreneur". Beechwood Cemetery's rolling hills, maple trees, evergreens and gardens give it the feel of a tranquil park. It is a place of quiet, restful beauty, perfect for a reposeful walk and silent reflection.


The memorial website is an ongoing project and we invite you to contribute. We are interested in learning how your life intersected with Ivan's. Of interest are not only his professional life as a mathematician and entrepreneur, but also who he was as a friend and mentor, and his political activities on campus (McMaster and Manitoba) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

  • Do you have a memory to share? An anecdote or story?
  • A photo of Ivan at a conference?
  • An audio or video recording of a lecture?
  • Can you identify a missing article?
  • Do you have other ideas for this site?

Contact: Robert Rival (Ivan's eldest son)