Faculty Dinner Honors Retirees

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From Left: Rod Smart, Lawrence Levy, Hiroshi Gunji, Claire Rider, John Harvey

The annual faculty dinner was held on May 2, 2001 at 6:00 PM in the 9th Floor Lounge of Van Vleck Hall. At the dinner, five recent retirees were honored for their service to the department and the university. They were: Hiroshi Gunji, John Harvey, Lawrence Levy, Claire Rider, and Rod Smart. Each of them has been awarded emeritus status.

Hiroshi Gunji

Hiroshi received the PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1962, under the direction of Jun-ichi Igusa. His thesis was entitled "Some properties of curves of genus 2 representing singular points of variety of moduli." He spent two years at Cornell University, then two years at the University of Saskatchewan before coming to Madison in 1966 as an assistant professor. Hiroshi did important research in number theory and had four PhD students during his tenure here. He had an tremendous impact on our graduate program as chair for very many years of the graduate admissions committee. He was a dedicated teacher of calculus, and not many semesters went by when he wasn't lecturing in a calculus course. Steve Bauman read a letter at the dinner from former colleague Don McQuillan which talked about Hiroshi's contributions to number theory and their joint work together, as well as Hiroshi as a friend and colleague.

One incident which shows how much Hiroshi was admired by his students occurred about ten years ago in a calculus course in which he was lecturing. Hiroshi was using a microphone with a wire attached and it would often get wound up around his feet. Students took up a collection to buy a wireless microphone, distributing leaflets which contained the words "Free Professor Gunji!"

For many years Hiroshi has been an amateur artist, and he and Josh Chover have often painted together.

John Harvey

John got his PhD from Tulane University in 1961, working with Paul Conrad on partially ordered groups. He joined our Department of Mathematics and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in 1966 as an associate professor after having spent 5 years at the University of Illinois. At Illinois, he proved with Paul Conrad and (former colleague) Charles Holland, the Hahn embedding theorem for lattice-ordered groups.

In reviewing John's career at the dinner, Bob Wilson said: "John has been incredibly active in many professional areas. He has held major positions in professional societies, he has led reviews of departments, in total I count at least 90 such activities he has taken part in. He has almost 100 published papers and books. He has authored or coauthored 45 different text and test curricular materials and 40 book or article reviews. In 1993 the Wisconsin Math Council named him as its Outstanding Mathematics Educator." John has also been a leader nationally in careful use of technology in teaching mathematics. He had 24 PhD students at Madison.

John's outside interests include music, both listening and singing, and fine wines. According to Bob Wilson again, as related by Lowell Tonnessen [PhD 1980, J. Harvey], John planned to try to drink the collection down to a more manageable size! John has now moved to New Orleans, where his sister and brother-in-law live, but won't be giving up all connections to Madison. The family will have a condo here in Madison where John can come for extended stays.

Lawrence Levy

Larry studied at the Juilliard School of Music and then received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Illinois working with Irving Reiner. He came to Wisconsin in 1961.

According to Don Passman, who reviewed Larry's career at the dinner: ``I have to believe that Larry loves doing mathematical research. He is the only person I know who names his theorems, for example `The Package Deal Theorem', and names his papers, for example `The Tome'.'' In recent years, Larry's research has really flourished. He knocked off several classical problems and he gave numerous invited talks around the world. Then, at the height of his mathematical powers, he decided to retire so that he could get even more work done.'' As Don also related, Larry is ``vowel challenged. He uses a shorthand whereby in his classrooms and in his seminar talks, the vowels are just plain missing.''

Larry had 14 graduate students at Wisconsin. One of them Sylvia Wiegand [PhD 1971, L. Levy] tells of Larry's love for the black-bottomed pie at the Wisconsin Union where they would often share one piece for dessert, and then another! Lee Klingler [PhD 1984, L. Levy] mentions Larry's fondness for writing very long papers (very stressful for his coauthors) and the fact that he and Larry have been good friends for twenty years. According to Don Passman, it's still a rumor to him that Larry is a gifted pianist, since he, with much regret, has never heard him perform. Some of us have - long ago - and can verify the rumor.

Claire Rider

Claire received an MS in Mathematics from UW-Madison in 1963 and joined our Mathematics Tutorial Program (MTP) in 1977. In 1988 she became the Director of the MTP, a position she held until her retirement in 2001. Under Claire's leadership, the MTP has become an integrated part of mathematics instruction in the first two years. Tutoring is offered in ten different courses, with about 300 students distributed over 300 tutorial sections.

According to Dottie Churchwell, one of the MTP tutorial staff, it has been Claire's "devoted and skillful leadership" that has contributed to the success of MTP. "She has diligently insisted on regular participation and effort by each student admitted to the program and routinely contacted various other university offices to help with advising students who need all kinds of special help. When she works with students she gives her best and expects the same from them." Claire served on many committees within the Mathematics Department as well as on the larger campus. She leaves behind a staff, not only devoted to the program but to her as well.

Rod Smart

Rod received the PhD from Michigan State University in 1961, spent one year on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Courant Institute (NYU), and then joined our department in 1961. He spent the academic year 1965-66 at the University of Glasgow on a NSF postdoctoral fellowship. His research focussed on modular & automorphic forms and modular groups, and he supervised the theses of five graduate students.

Later in his career, Rod concentrated his efforts and talents on teaching and computer technology. It was his vision and hard work that led to the initial computerization of Van Vleck Hall and the mathematics computer laboratory. Rod has held many of the important administrative jobs in the department, including TA Supervisor (1980-82) and Associate Chair (1976-78). He worked for many years on the Math Talent Search.

Rod's first PhD student, Bruce Berndt [PhD 1966, J. R. Smart] of the University of Illinois, came up from Champaign-Urbana to honor Rod at the Dinner. Bruce mentioned how Rod was born and raised on a farm and went into mathematics because he disliked farming. As the saying goes, "what goes around, comes around." Rod now lives on a farm outside of Madison and does some ämateur farming."

The day of our faculty retirement dinner, May 2, 2001, was also Walter Rudin's 80th birthday. The special evening concluded with singing ``Happy Birthday'' to Walter and eating a special birthday cake.
Walter and Mary Ellen Rudin