Van Vleck Notes
Department of Mathematics
University of Wisconsin


  1. MAA and AMS Meetings in Madison
    • MAA Meeting (August 2-4, 2001)
    • AMS Central Section Meetin (October 11-12, 2002)
    • Workshop on Mathematical Aspects of Orbifold Theory (May 4-8, 2001)
  2. New Faculty
  3. Van Vleck Visiting Assistant Professors
  4. Visiting Faculty
  5. Honorary Fellows
  6. Sabbaticals and Leaves
  7. Faculty Dinner Recognizes Retirees
  8. Honors and Awards
  9. Special Lectures
  10. Conference News
  11. David and Janet Kirkbride Scholarship Established
  12. John Nohel Prize Established
  13. Undergraduate Student News
  14. Graduate Student News
  15. Other News
  16. Alumni News
  17. Death Notices
  18. Laurence Chisholm Young Obituary

From the Editor ...

Our newsletter is a little later than usual this year due to the fact that it will now be based on a calendar year, rather than the academic year as in the past. It will be distributed about this time every year from now on. The last newsletter was dated 1999; this one is dated 2001. It's not a Y2K problem; you haven't missed an issue. Nor have you missed any of the news that we know you look forward to reading about every year. The current issue is packed with news about faculty, students, staff, awards, conferences, and many other things as well. I won't give any of it away here, you'll have to look inside.

And what about the University, the City of Madison, and the State of Wisconsin? All remain very exciting places in which to work and live. UW-Madison has undergone a change of leadership with David Ward stepping down as chancellor after 8 years and, after a national search, with Provost John Wiley becoming the new chancellor. The smooth transition took place at the end of the year 2000.

The big news in Madison is the major civic gift of Madison businessman W. Jerome Frautschi to develop an Arts District, bounded by State, Henry, Fairchild and Mifflin Streets, enclosing the current Civic Center. The entire area will be remodeled with existing facilities expanded and new ones added. Internationally recognized architect Cesar Pelli has been selected to lead the design of the project. A renaissance is taking place in downtown Madison.

The big news about the State is that after 14 years, Tommy Thompson has resigned as governor to become Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration. Recently Governor Thompson has been a strong advocate for the university supporting, in particular, new construction on campus and the UW-Madison Initiative of David Ward, which has added new funds to the university in a public/private partnership. The overall goals of the Madison Initiative include maintaining our research preeminence by retaining faculty and attracting new faculty, especially in emerging areas of knowledge, improving our world-class education, and keeping Wisconsin's best students in Wisconsin.

The old-timers among you certainly remember the Statute of Liberty emerging from the ice of Lake Mendota about 30 years ago. Had you been in Madison during the first weekend of February of this year, you would have seen it all over again, but this time emerging from Lake Monona in front of the Monona Terrace Convention Center.


From the Chair

It is a great pleasure for me to take the opportunity to write a few lines for the readers of the Van Vleck Notes. As you may know our department is marching full steam ahead with its hiring. Last year we hired four excellent mathematicians (S. Jin, X. Gong, T. Yang and A. Ionescu). They cover a wide variety of mathematical areas and will add considerable strength to our faculty. I am pleased to report that this year we have also been very successful at hiring, in fact we made three offers and had three acceptances! Our newest colleagues are very distinguished mathematicians: Sergey Bolotin (from Moscow State University, 1994 ICM speaker) works in dynamical systems; Timo Seppäläinen (from Iowa State) works in probability; and Lev Borisov (from Columbia University) is an algebraic geometer with interests in both mathematical physics and number theory.

As readers of these newsletters can surely tell, our department has been undergoing a substantial rejuvenation. In this process we have sought to foster development in important areas of mathematics that were previously underrepresented at Wisconsin. Our success has been quite remarkable, for instance we now have a growing national reputation in areas like number theory, symplectic geometry and applied mathematics as well as continued strength in traditional areas.

Another important development have been the multiple math conferences that are now held in Madison every year. This year we have had an algebra conference, a logic conference and soon we will hold a conference in mathematical physics. This summer the MAA will hold its annual Mathfest in Madison. Our department will also be hosting an AMS Central Section meeting on October 12 & 13, 2002; it is the first such meeting to be held in Madison in many years.

Unfortunately not all the news is good, the recent death of Professor L. C. Young was a very sad event for all of his family, friends and colleagues. He was a remarkable mathematician and human being and he will be sorely missed.

Last year we were fortunate to have an undergraduate scholarship endowed by David and Janet Kirkbride - he is a former UW math undergraduate. We received a very generous gift for the WES program from Wally Hilliard. We also received an endowment to establish the John Nohel Prize for a thesis in applied mathematics, generously funded by Carl de Boor, Liselotte Karrer and Mike Crandall. Space limitations do not permit me to mention all of those who have contributed to our department, let me just say THANKS! Your gifts mean a lot to us and we are very grateful for your generosity. Even small donations can make a big difference for our research and teaching programs and we are especially careful to make good use of them.

Let me sign off by extending an invitation to all of our friends to stop by and visit us here in Madison or to simply drop us a line. We would be delighted to talk with you and fill you in on local developments. Keep in touch!


     Alejandro Adem

     UW-Madison Math Dept Chair

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David and Janet Kirkbride Scholarship Established

Through a very generous donation of David and Janet Kirkbride, the Mathematics Department has established the ``Kirkbride Scholarship'' of a semester's tuition for an outstanding undergraduate student studying mathematics.

David Kirkbride graduated in 1963 with a B.S. degree with a major in Mathematics, after having already served a hitch in the Marine Corps. Dave relates how when he started at UW-Madison in 1955 as a 17 year old fresh out of high school, he was unprepared for the rigors of college life and not sufficiently motivated. So he dropped out after one year and joined the Corps. Returning to Madison in the spring of 1959, he started over, got married to Janet in 1961, had two children, and graduated - all in four years! Both Dave and Janet worked full time while Dave was in school; Janet is a registered nurse. One of the things he learned during these early years is that, if you bring nothing else to the table, commitment and hard work will go a long way.

After graduation Mr. Kirkbride went to work as a computer programmer - a new kind of job then - for Control Data, and his career followed a fairly traditional path, generally concentrating in the development and implementation of application software.

He says there were three overriding influences in his life without which he would not have enjoyed the growth he experienced and his success, namely, in no particular order, the Marine Corps, his wife Janet, and the University of Wisconsin. The donation of the Kirkbride's was motivated by wanting to be of some assistance to a student who is likely to become, in one way or another, a leader in some future generation.

We are extremely grateful to David and Janet Kirkbride for their generosity in establishing this very important addition to our undergraduate program.

John Nohel Prize Established

Generous donations from Carl de Boor, Michael Crandall and Liselotte Karrer have funded the John Nohel Prize in Mathematics for a thesis in applied mathematics. John Nohel is a former member of our department and director of the Mathematics Research Center. He died in 1997 (see the obituary in last year's newsletter). The prize is to honor his memory and his many important contributions to mathematics, the department, and the university.

Other News

I. Martin Isaacs is the recipient of MAA's Edith May Sliffe Award for distinguished high school mathematics teaching. These awards are a result of a bequest made to the MAA by Sliffe, a retired high school mathematics teacher at Emeryville, California. How does a non-high school teacher like Marty receive such an award? Nominations were solicited from the three students of each of the 60 highest scoring teams on the American Mathematics Competition, a program of the MAA. The students were asked to recommend a teacher or mentor for a National Teaching Award. The students from West High School Team in Madison (Daniel Kane, Chris Moore, and Yian Zhang) nominated Marty Isaacs for his mentoring and leadership role in the Wisconsin Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Talent Search Program. The award includes a cash prize of $350 and a free one-year membership in the MAA. A presentation ceremony will be held at West High School.

James Propp gave an invited talk entitled "Domino Tilings: Enumeration, Random Generation, and Asymptotics" at the 12th International Conference on Formal Power Series and Algebraic Combinatorics in Moscow in June, 2000. Also James Propp and David Wilson have been given the INFORMS College on Simulation's Outstanding Simulation Publication Award. The aim of this annual award is to recognize an outstanding piece of work in the field of simulation that has been published in the previous four years. The $500 award was given in recognition of the two articles (1) ``Exact Sampling with Coupled Markov Chains and Applications to Statistical Mechanics", Random Structures and Algorithm, vol. 9 (1996), pages 223-252, and (ii) ``Coupling from the past: a user's guide", Microsurveys in Discrete Probability, vol. 41 of DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, edited by D. Aldous and J. Propp, pages 181-192, American Mathematical Society, 1998.

Alex Nagel has been elected to a 3-year term, beginning February 1, 2001, as Member-at-Large of the Council of the American Mathematical Society.

Richard Askey gave lectures this past year at a meeting on symmetry in mathematical physics in Dubna, Russia and at a meeting in Dalian, China in honor of L. C. Hsu on his 80th birthday. He also gave the Taft Lectures at the University of Cincinnati. Of special interest, Dick also spoke on the mathematical knowledge teachers need at a hearing of the National Goals Education Panel (NGEP) in Burlington, Vermont. NGEP is a group established by state Governors and the business community. Former Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin was the co-chair of NGEP. Professor Askey also was selected by the Wisconsin chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi to be their annual speaker.

Fred Brauer, recently retired from our Department (but not from mathematics - read on), has an Honorary Appointment at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where he now resides. Among the faculty there are three Wisconsin PhDs: Cindy Greenwood (PhD 1963, J. Chover), John Fournier (PhD 1967, F. Forelli and S.  Wainger), and Dale Rolfsen (PhD 1967, J. Martin). Fred took part in a workshop on mathematical approaches to emerging and reemerging diseases at the IMA in May 1999, and the proceedings of this workshop, which will appear soon are being dedicated to Ken Cooke and Fred. Fred also gave talks in the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences' thematic programme in mathematical biology (consisting of five workshops in Vancouver) in 1999, a session on mathematical models via differential equations run by the MAA at the joint meetings in Washington in January 2000, and a minisymposium on mathematical epidemiology at the SIAM annual meeting in Puerto Rico in July 2000. Fred and his wife Esther look forward to visits to Vancouver of their many Madison friends. His book "Mathematical Models in Population Biology and Epidemiology" written with Carlos Castillo-Chavez (PhD 1984, F. Brauer) will be published early this year by Springer, in their series of texts in applied mathematics. The origins of this book are in some handwritten notes for our Math 415 in 1982, revised and augmented many times since then.

Hans Schneider was one of the organizers of an Oberwolfach meeting in November, 2000 on Nichtnegative Matrizen, M-Matrizen und deren Verallgemeinerungen. The other organizers were frequent Madison visitors Daniel Hershkowitz (Haifa) and Volker Mehrmann (Berlin).

Louis Rall gave an invited plenary lecture on ``Algorithmic Differencing" at Scan2000, GAMM-IMACS International Symposium on Scientific Computer, Computer Arithmetic, and Validated Numerics, in Karlsruhe, Germany in September, 2000.

Carl de Boor has been elected a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Steffen Lempp is one of the organizers of the Oberwolfach meeting in January, 2001 on Computability Theory.

Daniel Rider was named Outstanding Faculty Mentor for 1999-2000. Dan was cited for his many hours of volunteer time and his success as a mentor. The award was presented at the Mentor Program Spring Banquet in May, 2000.

Ed Fadell and Sufian Husseini are authors of Geometry and Topology of Configuration Spaces published by Springer (in the Springer Monographs in Mathematics series).

Kay Strangman has been promoted from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer.

Amos Ron has been awarded an NSF/ITR grant to use computational harmonic analysis to study internet dynamics. NSF held last spring a competition in the area of Information Technology Research. 980 proposals were submitted, and 63 awards were made. UW-Madison was awarded a $2.6 million grant in order to develop new mathematical tools for studying the dynamics of the Internet traffic. The project involves mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists from UW-Madison, AT&T, Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth College and Saarbrucken (Germany).

Tom Kurtz became editor of the Annals of Probability Theory on April 1, 2000. Peter Ney held this position from 1988 through 1990.

Markus Banagl, a second year Van Vleck Visiting Assistant Professor, has been awarded a two-year NSF grant for the project "Self-dual sheaves on singular spaces."

Lawrence Levy spent the academic year 1999-2000, his first emeritus year, traveling, primarily to do - face to face - the research that he normally does with various collaborators via email. This took him to US destinations: MSRI (Berkeley), UC-Santa Barbara, and Florida Atlantic University; and basic foreign destination Leeds, England (3 months), with brief side-trips to Bristol and Exeter (England), Padua and Florence (Italy), and Murcia and Barcelona (Spain).

Mary Gallagher and Diane Rivard of the Math Tutorial Program have been promoted from Assistant Faculty Associate to Associate Faculty Associate.

November 3, 2000 was the last working day in Van Vleck Hall for the Chair's Secretary, Deanna Zarecki. Deanna began in the Mathematics Department with a limited term appointment (LTE) in 1990. That same year she became the Timetable/Registration Representative. In 1994 she was appointed the Chair's Secretary and worked so well in that position for more than six years. Richard Brualdi, who was the Chair for most of Deanna's time in that position, valued her very much as a loyal and extremely knowledgeable and competent member of the support staff. Her expertise with computers was very important in the Department. She was responsible for keeping hiring records, arranging textbooks, preparing tenure and award nominations, among many other things. Many of you know Deanna from this newsletter, of which she was the Technical Editor for four years. She worked with the Chair in designing the new look for our Newsletter in 1995. She worked tirelessly on the PhD Centennial in 1997, for which she was responsible for so much of the organization. She collaborated with the Chair in putting together the Centennial Red Book, which remains a valuable source of information (some of which is now on our web page).

Deanna has taken up a new job with the Division of Workforce Development, Unemployment Benefits, which will allow her to spend more time with her family. A good luck gift was presented to Deanna, along with a cake to share with faculty and staff, on her last day at work.

In September, 2000, UW-Madison hosted a two-week post-doctoral marathon that was sponsored by the Wavelet IDR Center ( More than 10 post-doctoral fellows from Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and South Carolina met in Madison with senior and junior researchers in the area of Multiresolutions Analysis (wavelet, subdivision techniques, and the like).

Alumni News and Comments

Colin Adams
(PhD 1983, J. Cannon) and the Mathematics Department at Williams College, which he currently chairs, were featured in the Education column of the June 5, 2000 issue of Newsweek. In May 2000, 8% of the graduating class (42 students) at Williams received degrees in mathematics; nationally the percentage is between 1 and 2 %. According to Newsweek, Williams success in getting students to major in mathematics is ``fun and imaginative teaching.''

Carlos Castillo-Chavez
(PhD 1984, F. Brauer) is coauthor with Fred Brauer of the book "Mathematical Models in Population Biology and Epidemiology" which is to be published early this year by Springer, in their series of texts in applied mathematics.

Charlotte Chell
(PhD 1969, J. B. Rosser) of Carthage College was selected by the Wisconsin Section of the MAA for their 2000 Distinguished Teaching Award.

David A. Lamb
(PhD 1992, K. Kunen) ( has been working for the last six years for the U.S. Army at a facility in Warren, Michigan.

Chanyoung Lee
(PhD 1992, G. Benkart) has been promoted to Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming.

Bryan L. Shader
(PhD 1990, R. Brualdi) has been promoted to (full) Professor at the University of Wyoming.

Death Notices

Jon Barwise
Professor of Mathematics at Indiana University, died on March 5, 2000. He was a member of our Department from 1970 to 1984 and had four PhD students.

Kennan Smith
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Oregon State University died on November 18, 2000. He was a member of our Department from 1958 to 1971 and had six PhD students.

Rose Blachman Aronin
died on May 26, 2000. Ms. Aronin was an administrative assistant in our Department in the 1960's. In 1968 she moved to Los Angeles where she then worked as an administrative assistant in the UCLA Department of Mathematics.

Department of Mathematics Annual Fund Drive

Please accept my contribution in the amount of $ (enclosed) which is designated for:

UW Foundation Accounts (Department of Mathematics)

[¯] Dept. of Math. General Fund - Serves as the department's general account.
[¯] R. Creighton Buck-Undergraduate Prize for Creativity in Mathematics.
[¯] Wallace J. Hilliard Fund
[¯] Elizabeth Hirschfelder Fund-for Graduate Women in Mathematics, Chemistry & Physics.
[¯] Mark Ingraham Math Scholarship Fund - provides a scholarship for a mathematics major above freshman standing.
[¯] Kirkbride Scholarship-provides a semester's tuition for an outstanding undergraduate student studying mathematics.
[¯] John Nohel Prize in Mathematics - a prize for the best Ph.D Thesis in applied mathematics.
[¯] Wolfgang Wasow Memorial Lecture Fund-supports a lecture by an eminent mathematician
in the Distinguished Lecture series...
[¯] Van Vleck Math Talent Search - provides funds for our annual math talent competition.

For donations to the above funds, please make checks payable to UW Foundation and send to: UW Foundation, P.O. Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708-8860.

All contributions are tax deductible; many corporations have a matching grants program.

Van Vleck Notes

is published by annually by the
Department of Mathematics of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1388

Phone:(608) 263-3054
Fax: (608) 263-8891 Home Page:

Richard A. Brualdi, editor (

Diane Reppert, technical editor (

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Mathematics
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1388