Annual Newsletter of the University of Wisconsin Math Department

Math Home | 2004 home |

2004 Van Vleck Notes

small logo

From the Editor Brualdi

We have all seen problems like: Determine the next number in the sequence 1,2,3,..., 986, 987, 988, 989, 990,... Of course, the answer could be anything we want it to be. Maybe it's
or e or


But the ``obvious answer'' is 991, and then the tenth number after 990 is 1000. It's the significance of this sequence that is important. The UW-Madison Math PhD count is now at 990 and growing. There seems to be no doubt that we will reach the number 1000, if not at the May graduation, then at the summer graduation. It's a milestone which we take great satisfaction in. It is interesting to note that the 250th PhD was granted in 1966, the 500th in 1975, and the 750th in 1991. So there were 69 years between the first and 250th PhD, but only 9 years from the 250th to the 500th. The latter interval contains 1970 and 1971, in each of which years there were 39 PhDs awarded, the highest ever.

We hope that all of you who received PhDs from UW-Madison are also proud to be in the UW-Madison's first 1000 Math PhD class. We plan to recognize this event in the fall with a small local celebration. We will continue the celebration with you, we hope, at the next UW-Madison Mathematics Reunion at the joint meetings in Atlanta in January 2005.

Not only is the the UW-Madison Mathematics Department a major grantor of Mathematics PhDs, but UW-Madison in general is near the top of the doctoral class according to a recent survey compiled on behalf of a consortium of six federal agencies. UW-Madison is ranked second (to U.C.-Berkeley) among 413 U.S. universities, by granting 649 doctoral degrees in all fields in 2002.

Among the stories you can read about inside are those of six retirements of faculty and academic staff. Those of you who were in Madison in the last 40 years or so will certainly recognize their names and will know the important contributions each of them has made in the Department. There are a number of other retirements to take note of as well.

Our Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Phillip R. Certain, has announced his retirement in the summer of this year. Phil was a Chemistry Professor and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs before becoming Dean in 1993. He is highly respected on Campus for his collegiality, fairness, and problem-solving ability. As our Chancellor, John Wiley, said:

As our senior dean, there are few who possess Phil's institutional knowledge and historical perspective on the past, present, and future of this university.
He will be greatly missed.

Diane Reppert, who has been our technical typist (and I might say, versatile contributing member of our support staff) since 1977 will be retired by the time you receive this newsletter. As you know Diane has been the technical editor of this newsletter. Her ability to produce mathematical papers and this newsletter using TeX ~is extraordinary.

Gen Novara who has been with the Mathematics Department since 1985 has alsoannounced her retirement for this spring. Gen was the Chair's Secretary for five years before becoming Departmental Administrator in 1990. She has worked with six Chairs in these two roles: M. Osborn, S. Hellerstein, A. Nagel, R. Brualdi. A. Adem, and D. Griffeath. Each of these Chairs relied greatly on Gen for the smooth running of the Department. Because of her, the transition between Chairs always went extremely well. She has made extraordinary contributions to the Department.

Those of you who have been citizens of Van Vleck Hall will surely recognize the names of these individuals and the important contributions each of them has made. We are going to miss their skill and their cheerful presence in Van Vleck Hall.

We have lots of interesting news inside. Hope you enjoy reading about us!


About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2003 Company Name