NEWS FROM FORMER PARTICIPANTS - 1996
The following responses date from the "Ninetieth Birthday Reunion-Conference" July 1996.
- John Aach
I am grateful for the opportunity to say a few words about the influence of Arnold Ross's program on my life!
I have ended up working in a number of fields over the years and cannot escape the charge of being something of an intellectual wanderer. After the OSU program, I indeed started college with the intention of becoming a mathematician, but actually ended up getting a music degree at Princeton. But I got very interested in the psychology of music while doing so, and that got me interested in psychology generally and, ultimately, philosophy. A few years after college, I fashioned an interdisciplinary program at Boston University in philosophy and psychology and eventually got my PhD in 1987. Throughout my grad school career and, indeed, until recently, I made my living doing computer work at a large insurance company in the Boston area, although I did do a stint of teaching philosophy at a local college for a year.
The area I chose to focus on in graduate school was not a 'hot' or popular one for the times, although I see some hopeful signs of increasing interest. It considered the fate of a school of thought called 'psychologism' that was hotly debated at the turn of the century, but which was ultimatly defeated by strong arguments by Frege and Husserl and not thought much about since. Psychologism was the belief that logic must ultimately be founded upon psychology on the grounds that it deals with the `laws of thought' and therefore the psychological processes of thinking. Its defeat was (among other things) an important validator of the development of a formal logic in the twentieth century that had nothing to do with psychology (hence the Frege connection!). More generally, it helped assure that twentieth century philosophy and psychology would develop, by and large, independently, severing a long history of close relationship and co-development. My dissertation was devoted to showing that Frege's and Husserl's arguments were invalid and that twentieth century psychology, starting at least with behaviorism, could indeed have a role in the foundations of logic. I managed to publish the most important elements of my argument in a rather condensed article in the journal Synthese in November 1990.
I mention all this because some germs of my thinking on this issue actually arose at the OSU program. When I think of logic, I still think back to some of work we did in 'Towards the Abstract' and also in Ivor Thomas's class, and indeed, in Arnold Ross's number theory classes generally. One of the thoughts I recall having at OSU was that the answer to any problem in logic or mathematics was invariably a list of formula satisfying the formal conditions of a proof that establish some statement to be proved. But how does a mere list of symbols on paper really establish anything? Doesn't this require some thought process in addition to the symbols -- `between the lines' of the symbols, as it were? (And, indeed, it always took a lot more thought to figure out the symbols than the proof itself might suggest!) In a way, this was the beginning of my interest in psychologism and one of the questions I tried to answer (and, to an extent, think I did answer) in my research and article many years later.
There have been other effects of the OSU program in my life. Generally it has added greatly to the degree of discpline, rigor, confidence, and enjoyment I have had in dealing with mathematical subjects. It certainly gave me the aptitudes necessary to doing computer work well, which is for the most part where I have made my living. I still have a sheaf of papers from the program, mimeographed problem sets, graded problem sets, etc., and also a set of books on number theory and logic, that every so often I look over. Just to make sure I don't forget entirely, every few years I still try to refresh my memory on the basic number theory we learned there.
But, as I said earlier, I guess I'm still something of a wanderer at heart, and I am again on the move. After about 10 years of trying, in one fashion or another, to keep my hand in philosophy without being an academic, I have decided that it hasn't been working and I am trying something else. Over the past year I have become very interested in biotechnology and have noted that the field has an increasing need for computer assistance. I am trying to explore this and, potentially, move into it. I have recently left my job at the insurance company and have been taking some courses trying to bone up on the required subjects and find a way in.
But I do not worry that my time spent with mathematics, psychology, and philosophy, will be lost. Although I have followed a jagged line, I have always found that diverse experiences add up somehow. I am sure my history that starts with the OSU program will help me somewhere in this new field, should I be so lucky as to make a connection with it.
- Matthew L. Ahart
Twice (1994 and 1995), I have been a member of the U.S. Physics Team (high school competition that determines the U.S. representatives to the International Physics Olympiad). In 1994 I was the youngest team member, one of two 10th grade students. I skipped my last year in high school to attend Princeton, and I am currently planning on majoring in physics. I feel that my time at OSU DEFINITELY improved my reasoning skills. It was no coincidence that I did not make the U.S. Physics Team in 9th grade, but I made it in 10th grade -- after attending OSU.
I cannot attend the program this August, I am working in the Physics Department here at Princeton this summer.
- Ignacio Alarcon
It was the Summer of 1983 that I arrived in Columbus to pursue my graduate education. As part of my headstart program, Dr. Phil Huneke and Dr. Dan Shapiro suggested that I enrolled in the "Ross' Number Theory Program". It was one of the most fortunate suggestions that I have ever listened to.
Being part of the atmosphere that Professor Ross would create was an awesome experience. When one of my classmates asked him the eve of July 4 if we were going to have the day off, he answered with his characteristic enthusiasm: "We mathematicians wave flags doing Mathematics".
Pondering over what I have learned from Dr. Ross, I can say it is much more than merely Mathematics. It is how you approach what you do that makes a big difference. And a good beginning is to have the highest possible expectations of yourself and then a little more. I witnessed this tremendous spirit several times in Dr. Ross. One Summer I had the honor of working with his team, and at lunchtime he was discussing how it would be a good idea to "invite the President to talk to our students". One of my colleagues said it was unfortunate that Edward Jennings [the OSU president] was always so busy. After a few minutes of Dr. Ross saying a little more of what he had in mind, we realized that it wasn't Jennings' schedule that mattered, but George Bush's on a trip he had scheduled to Ohio.
On this his 90th birthday, Happy Birthday Dr. Ross, and many happy returns, since after all, as you have told so many of us again and again : "you are just a kid". It is this kidlike sense of wonder in life and mathematics that I try to emulate all the time.
- Thomas Andrews
Went to Yale, placed in top 10 on Putnam exam one year. Went to MIT on an NSF fellowship for two years of math graduate school before I realized that academic life didn't agree with me. I am now a software engineer.
- Bindu Anubha Bambah
Hi, I'm an old SSTP student and counselor (1974, 1975, 1976). I heard that all of you were celebrating Prof. Ross's 90 Birthday. Please convey my best wishes to him. My colleagues in the program were Alice Silverberg, Karl Rubin, Jon Rogowski, Dave Mitzman, David Harbater, Miriam Kadansky, Sue Williams and many others whom I remember fondly. I wonder where they are now? Dr. Ross introduced me to number theory, and although I am a physicist at Univ. of Hyderabad, I am finding uses for what I learnt in the program all the time. In fact I'm always 'Proving, disproving and salvaging if possible' and 'thinking deeply about simple things,' two phrases often repeated in the program. I hope all of you have a good time. And please propose a toast on my behalf to one of the greatest teachers I have ever known
Bindu Anubha Bambah
Reader in Physics
Univ. of Hyderabad
- Jennifer Barts
As to what I've been doing since attending the program -- I really haven't done much of note. I've attended school at Caltech, learned some Tang Soo Do (a Korean martial art), worked as a summer student at J.P.L., worked at a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop, and worked for the U.S. Geological Survey. I am currently working at GNP Computers as a technical writer. I've been spending my free time reading books, sewing, and taking short hikes.
Jennifer Barts (a.k.a. cat)
- Marjory J. Baruch
I worked as a college professor for 8 years, but when I was denied tenure, instead of looking for another university job, I decided to work at getting more kids interested in studying math, science, and computers. I have set up science clubs in schools and community centers, do workshops in 'Family Math' for parents and teachers, and work with the local science museum. I serve on boards of several science or technology organizations, including the advisory board for the National Science Resource Center of the National Research Council. I also helped get the PROMYS program going and spend each summer in Boston. I got a masters in computer science along the way and do some computer work, especially for nonprofits. I have also continued to work in mathematics - I am working on an exposition of Wu-Yi Hsiang's proof of the Sphere Packing problem.
- Jeff Bergfalk
Just writing to wish Professor Ross a very happy birthday.
I attended the program a few summers back. I did a lot of growing up at the Arnold Ross Summer Program, but I caused a lot of people a lot of headaches along the way, and I would like to, first off, apologize, and, second, thank you for putting up with me throughout that difficult time. Though I was loathe to admit it, I did learn some math, and had a wonderful time, looking back, all too often, at others' expense.
I am reformed now, and would very much like to attend the reunion, but, alas, circumstances do not permit. Much to my chagrin, I will be vacationing in California with family the week of the ninth.
So once again, happy birthday, sorry, congrats and good luck.
6248 Ash, Mission, KS 66205
- Jerry Bergum
I first met Dr. Ross as a Master's degree student while attending Notre Dame on a NSF Fellowship for High School Teachers. He was not only my teacher for two abstract algebra courses but he was a role model, a mentor and a friend to whom I always felt that I could go for help. It was Dr. Ross who encouraged me in 1962 to go into teaching at the university level and to pursue a doctorate degree when the time was appropriate (I had 7 children when I first met him). In fact, he helped me obtain a job at Gonzaga University in 1962 and influenced my pursuing a PhD degree which I obtained from Washington State University in 1969. Since that time I have published over forty refereed papers, I have been the editor of The Fibonacci Quarterly since 1980 and I have been the editor of six research conference proceedings. I liked teaching mathematics at the high school level before I met Dr. Ross but it was Dr. Ross who taught me how to love mathematics and to think as a mathematician as well as to teach others how to do the same.
Head, Computer Science Department
South Dakota State University
Brookings SD 57007-1596
- Andy Berner
I'm no longer teaching. I'm a Senior Systems Engineer for EDS. Main project right now is automated television studio, but also doing lots of data modeling for internal human resources systems.
After Ph.D. at Wisconsin under Mary Ellen Rudin, spent 10 years teaching at various colleges and doing research in set theoretic topology. Left right after I got tenure.
Spent a few years at a small computer based training company doing both instructional design and software development. Came to EDS 10 years ago as an instructional designer, but am now full time software engineer.
Family--Barbara and I are still married after almost 25 years. Two kids, Josh finishing up freshman year at Northwestern and Beth finishing fresh. high school. Beth was born with severe hydrocephalus; wasn't supposed to live. Doing OK healthwise. Pretty severe learning disabilities though--takes lots of effort, but worth it.
I spoke to Prof. Ross last year -- my nephew (Daniel Weiss) applied (and attended) the summer program.
- Manuel Berriozabal
Arnold, your life and educational achievements have been an example of commitment and dedication to our students.
Of course, I write as one of these students who forty-four years ago stepped on the University of Notre Dame Campus and was quite uncertain and fearful of what to expect.
Through your wholesome, paternal concern you made sure that I survived my first year of graduate school. But, more importantly, you opened my eyes and became an inspiration for my future professional life.
Since 1979, thousands of young precollege Texans, most of whom have been economically disadvantaged and educationally underserved, have participated in the summer statewide TexPREP. Their academic achievements during and after their summer experiences have belied the negative stereotypes about these students. Their college entrance and graduation rates have been far greater than the national rate and most have graduated from well-known colleges and universities with degrees in mathematics, sciences, and engineering.
Please consider TexPREP my small payback for the caring, encouragement, and friendship which you offered me during my professional development.
Maria and I wish you a very happy birthday and continuing success in the identification and intellectual empowerment of our mathematically talented youngsters.
Manuel P. Berriozabal, (M.S. University of Notre Dame 1956)
University of Texas - San Antonio
Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program
Department of Mathematics
6900 North Loop 1604 West
San Antonio, TX 78249-0661
- Terrence P. Bisson
I went to the University of Chicago for undergraduate study, majored in math, graduated in '70. Went to Duke University for graduate school in math, received a PhD in '76. My field of research is algebraic topology. My wife and I moved to Australia where I taught at the University of Sydney. Then we returned to the US where I joined the faculty of Canisius College in Buffalo NY. I have taught there ever since, and am now Associate Professor of Mathematics. I continue to do research in algebraic topology and attend lots of meetings in that area. I know that my experiences with Professor Ross shaped my life-long interest in mathematics and in how to teach it, and I am perpetually grateful.
- Charles Blair
I got undergraduate and Ph.D. in mathematics. My thesis, after an unsuccessful effort in Mathematical Logic, was in theoretical aspects of operations research, specifically integer programming.
I had a one-year appointment (joint math-OR) with North Carolina State University. Since 1976, I have been in the Business Administration Department at the University of Illinois.
A paper, 'Constructive Characterizations of the Value Function of a Mixed-Integer program,' recently appeared in Mathematical Programming. It gives a good picture of problems I have been involved with since graduate school.
I have been interested in public-key cryptography, although I have not yet done any research there. A set of expository notes has been circulated on the internet. I never took any classes in number theory, so Professor Ross's summer courses are pretty much responsible for such knowledge of the field as I have.
I have occasionally written pure mathematics papers. One short note (1977) was 'The Baire Category Theorem Implies the Principle of Dependent Choices.' With the late Lee Rubel, I wrote a paper showing there was an entire function f such that the sequence f, f', f", ... was dense in functions with uniform convergence on compact sets. We later learned this result had been done by Gerald Maclane about 30 years earlier.
- Pierre Bouchard
I was participant in the Program at Notre-Dame University in 1963.
I was participant at Ohio State University in 1964.
I was counselor in the program in 1966 and 1967.
I finished a Ph.D. at University de Montreal in 1975.
I was professor in a 2-year College from 1975 to 1978.
I am professor at University du Quebec, Montreal since 1978 and currently director of the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs.
I still am very much interested in summer programs in mathematics for gifted High School students. Inspired by Dr. Ross' program, a similar (but much shorter due to lack of funding) program was started in Quebec and is still running, changing city every 3 or four years. I was 3 times one of the professors in this summer camp.
I still quote .. and try to use .. 'Think deeply of simple things' that Prof. Ross used to repeat to us.
- Nick Bull
Finished high school, went to Brown U. for two years. Wanted to study physics, but dad said there were no jobs, so tried to study chemistry, which I hated.
Took a year off. Took some writing courses at O.S.U., then some more writing courses and philosophy, history, literature, anthropology, etc., then I met the woman who I eventually married, inertia set in and I never went back to Brown. Finished with a B.A. in English in 1979.
Worked as an assistant engineer technician for a year in Southern California (during which I got married). Saved a lot of money to go back to school to get an Engineering degree. Hated it, dropped out, spent six months travelling through Europe, then moved to Minnesota, couldn't get a job (it was the 1980-82 recession), and worked as a waiter for a year while trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Tried to do financial planning for a year and a half (during which we moved back to So. Cal.) but hated having to sell people promises that I couldn't keep.
Got a job as a technical writer, while rethinking what I wanted to do. Realized that a person who is interested in financial markets, demographics, how people make decisions, how people can best form a government, why the Depression happened, and such like things is a person who is interested in the things that economists study. Started taking economics courses at night to see if I liked them.
After two years, got a Masters degree, was chosen as best econ grad student of the year in 1986, and was accepted to go to the University of Minnesota economics Ph.D. program. Meanwhile, at work, in addition to doing technical writing, I provided customer technical support, purchased computer systems, was promoted to head the technical writing department, became project coordinator for a major new product line, and (to stave off my imminent departure to grad school) was offered a job as assistant vice president of the division.
Went to grad school, enjoyed it immensely. Went on the job market just as the '90 recession wiped out the demand side of the market, but was lucky enough to get a job at the Federal Reserve Board. Moved to DC in the fall of '91, had our first baby (Ellen) a week later (a month early). Spent the next year trying to adjust to a new job, new child, new relationship with my wife, new city where we knew no one, and meanwhile trying to get my thesis done, long distance, while I still had some hope of doing so. Finished up at the end of the next summer and bought a house. Had our second baby (Simon) in the spring of '93.
Currently, still working at the Reserve Board, which fits in pretty-much nicely with my policy interests, as well as using my computational skills, and some of my analytical skills, but which leaves too little time for serious, academic-style research, but on the other hand I don't have to worry about tenure, and I usually don't have to work really long hours, so I get to see the kids in the evening and on weekends, which is very important to me.
6113 N. 9th Rd.
Arlington, VA 22205
- John P. Burgess
I was a graduate student at Berkeley (group in logic) and have been on the Princeton faculty since 1976
- Linda Chen
I just graduated from Harvard in mathematics; in the fall, I will be beginning graduate school (in math) at the University of Chicago.
- Li-Chung Chen
Lots of math competitions, including AHSME-AIME-USAMO (honorable mention). Some science competitions, including 1st place in American Chemical Society Contest (year 2 division). A math project at the Research Science Institute this summer (6/23 - 8/3 at MIT).
- Gil Cheung
I attended Dr. Ross' program around 1991 I think. Now, I am a junior at MIT. My brother also goes here.
- Bruce Cichowlas
Hi! I was in the program in 1966 and 1967. I ran across your page while surfing the web for old friends.
Though I've never been employed directly in Mathematics, the program has had a big influence on my life. I ran a computer business for about twenty years called Algorithmics Inc. We were one of the first businesses to take microprocessors seriously for business applications, and sold a standalone word-processing and computing machine based on a Z-80 in 1979.
I've been involved with a number of companies in music synthesizers. I was an engineer and occasional performer at ARP Instruments, where I met a number of interesting people in the music business. I was also a founder and Director of Hardware and Software for Kurzweil Music Systems, and one of the developers of their "sound contour modeling" algorithms.
Currently I am Director of Research and Development at Custom Clothing Technology Corporation, recently acquired by Levi Strauss & Co. We are responsible for the Personal Pair custom jeans for women program and several other innovations as well. Though most don't realize it, trying to make custom clothing patterns "on the fly" particularly with efficient fabric utilization is an interesting 3D-to-2D (or vice versa) transformation, and getting optimum fabric utilization from an arbitrary pattern is a well known problem in Operations Research mathematics.
So I still like Number Theory, Geometry, Group Theory and the like, and avoid Differential Equations and Matrices when I can!
Recently I married Shelly Muhs in August 1996. It is a second marriage for us both, so we have a combined family of five children: Jordan-11, Alison-10, Tyler-8, Jessica-7 and Roxanne-5.
- Kim Ciula
Dr. Ross's summer math program at OSU was the single most important event of my high-school years. It gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and challenge myself in ways my high school did not. I had much more confidence in my abilities after the two summers I spent there, and I went on to get an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics and a Master's in Computer Science. I now work at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as a scientific programmer and consultant for high-performance computing systems.
- Robert F. Coleman
I am a professor of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley. I am also a MacArthur fellow. I have used ideas from the Ross program both in my teaching and research.
- Brian Conrad
Since leaving the program, I went to grad school and just finished (1996). I'll be an assistant professor at Harvard for the next few years. Of course, the experience of those summers at OSU was a tremendous inspiration for me in going on in mathematics.
- Jeff Dielle
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Ohio State SSTP during the summers of 1970 and 1971. I came to appreciate the rewards for sustained intellectual effort, and I discovered a community of other young people who shared my enthusiasm for pure mathematics.
I attended Harvard during 1971 through 1975, experiencing many ups and downs. I studied under four Fields Prize winners and completed an independent study of Riemann Surfaces and the Riemann-Roch theorem. I took much comfort in my relationships with my friends, many of which began at OSU.
After graduating, I wanted to acquire a measure of emotional and financial stability but found myself rather unprepeared for the "real world". In order to get my feet back onto solid ground, I spent eight months taking computer programming classes at De Anze College in Cupertino CA. I then got very lucky and landed a job in Hewlett-Packard's Corporate Data Center as a junior systems programmer. (The hiring manager had left the Stanford Math Department's PhD program a few years earlier.) At that point I thought that I'd head off for grad school or law school after a couple of years, but 19.5 years later I'm still working for HP (although I did get a degree from a local "bargain-basement" night law school).
Over the years, I've held a number of different technical and managerial positions in Information Technology, and I've worked on many interesting projects. I am currently working in the Corporate group responsible for turning our Intranet (100,000 clients and 1500 web servers) into a production environment. I have been "evangelizing" the use of products which bridge the gaps between Lotus Notes and the Web, and I have been managing the development of a new content management and web publishing tool (based on Lotus's InterNotes Web Publisher).
On a personal level, I have been married and divorced (Welcome to the nineties.). I have spent the last seven years living in Rohnert Park (a town of 40,000 about 50 miles north or San Francisco), where I am active in the Sonoma County Jewish community. I still enjoy playing bridge and listening to international shortwave broadcasts.
I have always valued the importance of "thinking deeply about simple things" (My boss even quoted this on my last performance evaluation.) and, over time, I have come to realize the superiority of E.H. Moore's methods ("Building on the shoulders of others") over those of R.L. Moore ("Reinventing the world for oneself").
I would, of course, be happy to hear from long lost friends and acquaintences.
1263 Marlene Ct.
Rohnert Park CA 94928
- Jeff Dinitz
I was a student in the program in the summer of 1973. I was between my junior and senior year of *college*, but stayed with and participated with the high school students. At the time I was a math major at Carnegie-Mellon University but was basically unsure about my future in mathematics. Well, I had a great summer in the program (I beat all the high school kids on 2 out of the 3 tests) and I returned to Carnegie with renewed vigor, determination, confidence and love for mathematics. I graduated from college in 1994 and entered graduate school (in mathematics) at Ohio State that fall. In 1980, I received my Ph.D. in combinatorics under the direction of Rick Wilson. Since that time I have been in the Mathematics Department of the University of Vermont where I am now a full professor.
Here is a short list of what I have been doing since coming to Vermont.
- I have (co)organized 7 conferences here including the 1990 Marshall Hall Conference.
- I have edited 3 books including being the editor-in-chief of the CRC Handbook of Combinatorial Designs.
- I have written over 50 papers in refereed journals.
- From 1989 to 1993, I was the Associate Chair of the Mathematics Department.
I owe much to my summer in the Ross program -- and wish Arnold another 90 years of success.
- Vladimir Drobot
I came from Poland, completely unfamiliar with American education system and ways things are done here, and it is in no small measure due to Dr. Ross that I got a very good start in my education. I will be always very grateful to him for all the help he gave me.
I got my B.S. in Math from Univ of Notre Dame - 1963
M.S. in Math from Univ. of Illinois - 1964
Ph.D in Math from Univ of Illinois - 1967
M.S. in Computer Scince, San Jose State University - 1977
Emplyment: SUNY at Buffalo 1967-1973
Santa Clara University 1973-1990
San Jose State University 1990 - now.
- Karen Edwards
Mathematics! Specifically, I got my bachelor's in math at UC Berkeley in 1992, and I am about to enter my fourth year in the Berkeley math PhD program. I took one year off from graduate school to volunteer in math classes in the Boston public school system, and after my PhD I hope to go into the field of math education. At Berkeley I and two other students designed a course called Proofwriting, intended as an optional transition course for students starting to take upper division math. The class incorporates several ideas from the Ross program, including rewrites and even re-rewrites. In contrast with the lower-division calculus classes, for which there is no homework grading due to lack of funding, this kind of interactive feedback really gets the student involved with and focused on their own work. The class will be offered for the seventh time this fall.
448 Puerto del Mar
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
- Clifford Ellgen
- attending caltech.
- doing research this summer in control and dynamical systems
- Daniel Elwell
UPDATE: As of March 15, 1998 I transferred from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to the Department of the Navy where I am working for the Chief Information Officer. In my current position, I advise the CIO on process innovation and enterprise systems performance issues.
Please give Dr. Ross my regards.
- Lawrence Evans
I saw in the July AMS Notices that there will be a birthday celebration for Professor Arnold Ross in August. I participated in his NSF summer program at Notre Dame in 1960, attending his course in number theory and one in group theory taught by Zassenhaus. This was a happy experience which has left me with many warm memories of the teachers and fellow students. As chance would have it, one of my neighbors, Helen Buck, knew Dr. Ross, much better than I did. Her late husband was a physicist, which may help Dr. Ross to recall her, as this seems to have been about 40 years ago.
Lawrence S. Evans
La Grange, IL 60525
- Bruce Alan Fast
I attended the Ross Program in 1971;
- B.S. in Mathematics, Stanford University, 1976.
- worked in Africa as a teacher (Malawi, 76-81) and an administrator (Zaire, 82-86) under the auspices of the Mennonite Central Committee.
- Taught in the Denver Public Schools, 87-89.
- M.S. in Mathematics, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, 1990.
- working as a programmer/analyst/consultant at the Computing & Network Services Department of University of Colorado at Boulder, 1990-present.
University of Colorado
Boulder CO 80309-0455
Home page: http://stripe.colorado.edu/~fast
- Edward Fein
I attended the Ross Program in the summers of '88 through '91, and I just heard about the conference through Kendra Hershey, who (as fate would have it) happens to work for the same company I do (MicroStrategy - only 170 employees total right now).
I attended Dartmouth for a few years, double majoring in Mathematics and Physics. In the middle of my junior year, I took two years off to deal with some personal issues. When I returned, I moved into Computer Science. As fate would have it, I had already practically finished my Math and Physics mjors, so I graduated in June of '96 with a triple major in Math, Physics, and Computer Science. Since then, I just joined MicroStrategy, a small decision - support software company in the D.C. area.
2251 Pimmit Dr., Apt. 1113
Falls Church, VA, 22043
- Bill Fisher
I was a student in the math program during the summers of 1968 and 1969. I was a counselor during 1970.
Since my involvement in the program, I completed my B.S. with honors from the University of Michigan in Mathematics and Computer Science (1973). I went on to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts where I received an M.S. in Computer Science (1975).
Following school, I joined Digital Equipment Corporation where I worked as a programmer for 19 years. During this time, I was involved with computer typesetting, office automation, semiconductor computer aided design and operating systems. For the last two years I've been working in the area of computer databases for Oracle Corporation. I am currently living in New Hampshire with my wife and 7 year old daughter.
I have particularly fond memories of my years with the math program. At the program, I learned what mathematics was really about. It was also a great experience to be with peers rather than always being the best in my high school. Through the program I was able to understand which parts of Mathematics that really fascinated me and which parts left me cold. The focus and foundation that the program gave to me has continued to serve me throughout my career in computer programming.
I am also personally grateful to Dr. Ross for the time and attention he gave to his students. For example, when I mentioned to my counselor that the University of Michigan had not put me in its Honors program, Dr. Ross, personally, made phone calls to his counterparts which resulted in an offer to the Honors program within a day.
76 Truell Road
- Bob Fourer
Last year I completed the sixth and final year of my 5-year term as chair of the Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences Department at Northwestern University. In 1995-96 I am spending a year's sabbatical in the Computing Science Research Center of Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ. I have been working with two colleagues there on the further development of AMPL, a modeling language for describing large mathematical optimization problems to computer systems. AMPL has been used by a number of University courses in mathematics and engineering, and has also been applied in a variety of businesses.
Further information can be found at www.ampl.com/ampl.
- George K. Francis
Before the 'Ross Program' there was his Sunday School (which was really on Saturday). That was before 1957. As a math major ('54-'58) at Notre Dame, I sometimes helped with the Sunday School. Before the Sunday School, when I was in high school, I had the good fortune of being tutored by Arnold Ross. At the time I planned on studying engineering or biology on the way of becoming a philosopher. Arnold persuaded me that (A) one could not be a philosopher before the age of 60, that (B) studying mathematics was the right way of becoming an engineer ... later, and (C) mathematics was more interesting than biology.
So, I became a mathematician, married a biologist and practice philosophy very privately, and without a proper license. Lately I have been teaching the brightest undergraduate honors students at Illinois, mostly engineers, how to use geometry to program the CAVE virtual environments at the National Center for Supercomputing.
- David Fried
My last summer in the Ross program was 1971. I had just graduated from the University of Chicago and had arranged to spend a year at the University of Cambridge. When that ended I came to University of California at Berkeley and started my thesis work with Stephen Smale. I finished up in 1976, with a dissertation on "Cross-sections to Flows". I held academic positions at Yale and Santa Cruz and visited I.H.E.S. several times before coming to Boston University in 1983 as an associate professor. Since 1986 I have been a professor of mathematics at B.U. I was fortunate to receive a Sloan Foundation Fellowship in 1983.
Aside from my career, I have been an avid folkdancer since I was a graduate student and through that hobby I met my wife Syrie. We were married in 1994.
At Arnold's urging, Glenn Stevens and I set up PROMYS, an offshoot of the Ross program. It is now in its 8th summer and running fine. I am currently teaching a course in hyperbolic geometry for the returning students.
- Bright M. Fulton
I finished high school, and am currently attending the University of California at Berkeley. I also further developed my game of ultimate frisbee.
- Ira Gessel
I majored in math at Harvard and graduated in 1973. I then went to MIT for graduate school and received my Ph.D. in 1977. My thesis advisor was Richard Stanley. My thesis was in enumerative combinatorics, which is the field in which I've worked since then. After graduating from MIT, I had a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at IBM, then I taught at MIT for six years. Since 1984 I've been at Brandeis, where I've just begun a two-year term as chairman of the department. Although most of my work is in combinatorics, the elementary number theory that I learned from Dr. Ross has inspired me to study some of the number-theoretic properties of numbers that arise in enumerative combinatorics, such as binomial coefficients and Bell numbers.
- Jeff Goll
I've been an industrial physicist. I got my AB in physics from Princeton, where I was lucky enough to be around when the big-bang/cosmic black body radiation excitement was at its peak. I went to Stanford Applied Physics Dept for Ph.D, working in ultrasonics/biophysics. In a small way I started the effort that guys a couple of generations behind me turned into the acoustic medical imaging equipment that's proved so useful for obstetrics. I had a post-doc at for Johns Hopkins (post-doc/light scattering), then industrial jobs at Texas Instruments (surface acoustic wave devices for early spread spectrum systems for the folks who gave us the ARPA-net), Tektronix (various measurements systems including GaAs ICs that allowed generation and measurement of picosecond electronic events), and my present job with Metra Biosystems. We are actually a tiny division of a small company that works on bone characterization. My division is building an ultrasonic diagnostic device. The hope is to help doctors to determine who might benefit from the new drugs that are proving to be effective treatments for osteoporosis.
Metra Biosystems, Ultrasound Systems
1400 N.W. Compton Drive, Suite 225
Beaverton, OR 97006
Phone: 503-690-4020, ext 7942
- Jon Grantham
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1992. I am currently working on my Ph.D. in computational number theory under Carl Pomerance at the University of Georgia; I expect to finish in June 1997. I am getting married on September 7.
- Ronald Greenberg
I went on to the following schooling:
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
B.S. & M.S. in Systems Science and Mathematics
B.S. in Computer Science
A.B. in Mathematics
Summa Cum Laude (GPA 3.99/4.0)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Thesis Title: Efficient Interconnection Schemes for VLSI and Parallel Computation
I have since been on the faculty in the University of Maryland Electrical Engineering Dept. In August, I am moving to the Loyola University Dept. of Mathematical and Computer Sciences in Chicago. My new addresses will be:
Dept. of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
6525 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60626-5385
- Alan Grenadir
The summer math program (1970 - 1976) had a profound effect on my life. The number theory course with the 'reduced inventory' and the 'prove or disprove and salvage if possible' approach taught me to think abstractly with a foundation in concrete verification.
After several summers as a high-school student in the program, I was inspired to set my sights on studying math at Harvard and was accepted there. I graduated and continued my math studies at Princeton with an NSF fellowship. I earned an MA in math in one year and before specializing in algebraic number theory, I took a one year leave of absence to 'find myself.' At a computer job in New York City, I met a friend who was beginning to learn with an Orthodox Rabbi, and I began to study. In less than a year, I shifted gears and decided to go to Jerusalem to learn in a Yeshiva.
I spent over seven years in Jerusalem, learning Talmud with an eye to understanding and organizing the material from the point of view of a 'reduced inventory' of logical concepts. I was inspired by the works of a master logician, Kabbalist and ethical teacher who lived over 250 years ago, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, whose two logic books are amazingly relevant and modern in style.
I've been back in the U.S. almost 9 years now, working at various computer jobs and continuing my religious studies. I am pursuing research into the formalization of Talmudic logic, both at the dialectic level using formalizations of revisable reasoning, and at the analytic level of examining factor interactions in the case-law method applied to static and time-evolving cases.
The richness of the 2000-year-plus database of case-law and the subtleties of factor interaction allow discriminations which are not available elsewhere. As an example of a meta-logical question, what is the reason for a certain law:
- the fact that a person did an act belonging to a certain class of acts;
- the fact that an act was instantiated which belongs to that class;
- the fact that an effect of that act occurs on the object-acted-upon.
I am thankful to have met my wife and we have been happily married for over two years now. We regret that we cannot attend the conference and reception and we send to Dr. Ross our warm regards and wishes for continued health and vigor.
721 East 7 St.
Brooklyn, NY 11218
- Michael Griffin
I am an alumnus of The Program, a first year student the year before it moved to the University of Chicago, and involved one way or another until 1982. My career has diverged from pure mathematics: in 1982 I took an internship at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (leaving math grad school at Chicago), and I subsequently found my way to software engineering and thence to the financial services industry via realtime market data issues. Now I do things that are far less challenging intellectually than what I spent my high school summers contemplating twenty years ago. But I can enumerate the benefits of that experience, ranging from the development of analytical skills to meeting people who became lifelong friends. I have nothing but fond memories of that summer living in Scott House and doing difficult math every day until it started seeming less difficult and insight began to dawn. And it gives me no end of pleasure to be able to say to myself (in the period following the proof of FLT, Wiles' theorem) that I knew Karl Rubin and took his topology seminar in Regenstein Library, even if no one else I know knows who he is.
I think the reunion is a great idea and would love to come, except that I'm in England for the year and time just does not allow it.
Michael Griffin, summer of '75-7, 79-82 (more or less)
- Daniel Grubb
I attended the Ross program at the University of Chicago in (I believe) 1978. At the time I was 15 years old. Currently, I am an associate professor of mathematics at Northern Illinois University. I received my PhD in 1986 from Kansas State University under Karl Stromberg. My PhD was in Abstract Harmonic Analysis. Since that time I have started research in measure theory, specifically non-subadditive measures.
- Chris Haase
Upon graduating from Upper Arlington High School in 1986, I attended the Ohio State University and carried on with my mathematics training. In 1990, I received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in the Liberal Arts, Summa Cum Laude and enrolled in the graduate mathematics program at the University of Chicago. During my first three years at Chicago, I was supported by an NDSEG Department of Defense Fellowship. I used the DoD opportunity to study biosonar systems at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in 1992. In February of 1996, I accepted a position at Glynn Scientific, Inc. in Annapolis, MD as a senior research scientist. In July of 1996, I completed my Ph.D. dissertation titled, 'Extra Smoothness Requirements for the Wave Equation,' and will defend it on August 1, 1996.
975 St. George Barber Rd.
Davidsonville, MD 21035-1212
- Tom Hagedorn
I was a participant and counselor in the program from 1983 until 1987, and in 1989. I received my doctorate in mathematics under Benedict Gross from Harvard in 1994. I taught mathematics for three years at Wesleyan University (1993-1996) and will be an assistant professor in mathematics at the College of New Jersey, starting in the fall.
38 Chestnut Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
- Chris Hanusa
I attended the Ross Program in 1995. I'm at Harvey Mudd College now, and majoring in Math and French. I went to France in the fall of 1999, and had a great time. I've been learning a whole bunch of good math here at Harvey Mudd, and I'm leaning towards Discrete Math for the future [I don't know what I'm bound to find there]. For any information on Harvey Mudd, I'd be quite willing to answer any questions, or pass them along to someone who can answer them. Enjoy yourself, and do some fun shiny math while you're at it.
- David Harbater
I received my Ph.D. in algebraic geometry from MIT, under Michael Artin, and then joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where I'm currently the E. Otis Kendall Professor of Mathematics. I've been working on a collection of ideas relating algebraic geometry, Galois theory, number theory, and topology. In 1995 I shared the AMS Cole Prize in Algebra with Michel Raynaud, for our solution to the Abhyankar Conjecture on fundamental groups of curves over fields of finite characteristic. Much of my mathematical outlook remains shaped by the Ohio State summer program, and in particular the parallel between the number field and function field cases continues to fascinate me.
- Craig R. Helfgott
I attended the RYS program in Summer '92 as a first-year student, and in Summer '93 as a junior counselor. Since then, I have attended the Villanova HHMI-NSF Young Scholars Program in Math and Biology in Summer of '94, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab Young Scholars Program (now canceled due to lack of funding) in Summer of '95. I have recently completed my freshman year at Princeton University, where I am planning on majoring in physics. I spent most of this summer at an REU with the math dept. of Tulane University in New Orleans. I placed 18th on the Putnam this year, and hope to be on Princeton's Putnam team next year.
I enjoyed my time at the RYS a great deal, and I would like to congratulate Professor Ross for his decades of dedication to teaching math.
- Kendra Hershey
I was a student at the Ross program in 1989. Then I was a counselor for 3 years at PROMYS, a similar summer math camp founded by Ross program alums. I graduated from Princeton in 1993, then taught math in Singapore for 2 years, and am now working at a computer company in the DC area.
- Jack Hirschfelder
Counselor for the Ross Program, 1962-1965
PhD Math Notre Dame 1968
Assistant Professor of math, University of Washington, Seattle, 1968-1975
Joined Honeywell Inc. Marine Systems Division in 1968; Division later became part of Alliant Tech Systems Inc. Engineering Project Manager. Principal Products are sub-sea equipment and vehicles.
1992-1993, on leave of absence from Alliant Tech Systems, visiting lecturer in computer science at the University of Maryland, European division.
- Ken Holladay
Here is the summary of what I have done these last years.
BS in mathematics at MIT in 1972.
Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT in 1975 Thesis Advisor Gian Carlo Rota, area Combinatorics.
Bateman Instructor (postdoc) at Cal Tech 1975 to 1977.
Assistant Professor, University of Miami (Florida) 1977-1982.
Assistant Professor, University of New Orleans 1982-1985.
Associate Professor, University of New Orleans 1985 to present.
Research in combinatorics (tilings and dissection problems) and in remote sensing (georeferencing, scattered point intermposation).
Consulting work for NASA at the Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.
Grant from NASA in remote sensing
Married to Wendy in 1980
4 children Benjamin (born in 1988), Anne (born in 1991), Rachel and Samuel (twins born in 1995)
New Orleans, LA 70148
- Mark Hovey
I have an NSF postdoc at MIT right now, which will end next year. My wife has tenure at Wesleyan University in CT. I don't expect to be able to find a job in the area next year -- the job market is even worse in the Northeast than where you are, I bet. So I don't know what we will do. My research has been going well though. We have two kids -- a daughter Grace, age 6, and a son Patrick, age 4 months.
- Robert Hsiung
First, of course, there was a lot more education: the rest of college (where I ended up concentrating in Applied Mathematics), medical school, and a residency in psychiatry. I'm now an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Student Counseling and Resource Service at the University of Chicago. My work is primarily clinical, but a residual affinity for computers has evolved into an interest in applications of the Internet to psychiatry (for example, my Psychopharmacology Tips web page, at www.dr-bob.org/vpc).
- Tom Hyer
I attended the Ross program in 1983, '84 (as a fish), '85 (as Head Fish), '86 and '87 (as a counselor). I left Rice in '89 with a B.A. (Physics and Math), and went to Stanford. I left Stanford in '94 with a Ph.D. (particle physics), a beautiful wife (Kathleen) and four amazing children (Andrew '92, Sean '93, Sophia '94, Krista '94). I'm currently using my Ross program training as a Vice President in Derivatives Analytics at Bankers Trust New York.
The Secret Science is very different from the Physics I had before. It's a young field (and secrecy has slowed its development), so the problems are more direct; they start with an observed difficulty, not with a literature search. I've also moved more toward engineering, so I'm learning the acquired tastes of the software world. I'm enjoying it immensely; it has so much more to offer than the academic life I left, not just in career prospects (though that doesn't hurt) but in giving me the chance to define my own role and do what I think is most productive.
There are enough charlatans and bluffers in the world, and enough people who only know what they've been told, that anyone who has a true and clear understanding of his field is a tiger in the night. I owe that to the Program: the notion that you can take a thing and understand it to its roots, so it becomes an extension of yourself. I hope that others have learned that lesson, and that I've done more good than harm in propagating that legacy.
- Neil Immerman
After attending the Ohio State program the summer of 1970, here is what I've been doing professionally:
- 1971 -- 1974: I got my BS and MS in math at Yale University
- 1974 -- 1975: I was a software engineer at GTE Sylvania
- 1975 -- 1980: PhD at Cornell University in theoretical computer science
- 1980 -- 1983: Assistant Professor of computer science at Tufts University
- 1983 -- 1986: Assistant Professor of math and cs at Yale University
- Fall, 1985: MSRI at Berkeley for their special year in theoretical CS
- 1986 -- 1989: Associate Professor of computer science at Yale University
- 1989 -- 1995: Associate Professor of computer science at UMass, Amherst.
- 1995 -- now: Professor of computer science at UMass, Amherst.
- 1995 -- 1996: sabbatical year at Cornell, where I am writing a book `Descriptive Complexity'.
On a more personal note, I am married to Susan Landau and we have two children: Daniel (age 10) and Eleanor (age 8).
- Robert Indik
After attending the program as a high school student, I returned as a counselor for three summers when the program moved to Chicago. During that time I was a math major at MIT. After graduating, I completed a PhD at Princeton in the area of automorphic forms under the supervision of Goro Shimura. Then I got a job as an assistant professor at Brandeis University in the math department. In 1986 I moved to Tucson, where my wife had a post-doc in the astronomy department. For a year worked as a software consultant, then I got a job in the math department at University of Arizona doing software development. Over time this transformed into an academic position, and I am an adjunct professor doing research in computational nonlinear optics, and in spontaneous pattern forming systems.
- Dean Jens
I've graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Physics; I also met the requirements for a BS in Mathematics. I will be starting graduate school in physics at Princeton University this fall.
- David Jerison
Dear Dr. Ross,
Congratulations on your 90th birthday. I deeply regret that I am unable to attend the celebration. I am also sad to miss lectures from my good friends, friends whose every mannerism is indelibly etched in my mind, friends made at what I refer to often as "math camp." Your program launched my career and that of many others.
What impresses me all the more as the years go by is your energy and dedication. You taught us how to keep our enthusiasm for mathematics by working hard at it. I am profoundly grateful that I had the opportunity to study and work with you.
With warmest wishes,
- Jeff Kahn
I received a Ph.D. (math) from OSU in 1979 (with D.K. Ray-Chaudhuri). Then (with some overlap): MIT (5 years) and Rutgers (till now). Interests: discrete math, geometry, probability, computer science.
- Barbara Kaiser
I got a PhD at Brandeis University in 1983. I taught for one year at St. Olaf College and have been teaching at Gustavus Adolphus College since then.
- Konstantin Kakaes
I was a student at the Ross Young Scholars program two years ago (summer '94). The program was enjoyable and an immense learning experience. Since the 'Ohio summer', I have been taking classes at the University of Maryland in other areas of mathematics, including abstract algebra and advanced calculus as well as physics, while continuing with my high school work. I am currently working on a project in Lie groups and representation theory at the Research Science Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts at MIT. Next year, while in my senior year in high school, I am planning on continuing at the U. of Maryland with a course in analysis and a course in physics, while also going through the college application process.
Unfortunately and regretfully, I will be unable to attend the reunion. I will be in Alaska at that time. Earlier this year, our high school team (five students in total) won third place in the National Science Bowl competition, sponsored by the Department of Energy. As a result, the Department of Energy in cooperation with BP will be treating us to a visit of the BP oil facilities on the North Slope. It promises to be an exciting experience. I am truly sorry that I had to make a choice, as I would have really liked to have been at the reunion.
Please give my regards to Professor Ross and any other alumni and counselors from my year.
15161 Stillfield Pl.
Centreville, VA 22020
- Jamie Kelem Keshet
I was quite surprised, astonished actually, to receive the invitation to the conference. What a great idea. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend because it is the same weekend as American Psychological Association Conference I am going to. I just passed the information on to my brother, Roger Kelem, and you may be hearing from him. My son, Daniel, went to the Boston University PROMYS program last summer which is modelled after the Ross Program, so you see I have quite a few family connections with this program. In fact, Daniel's participation last summer brought up my memories about my teen-aged experience. I actually attended the program at the University of Notre Dame and then was a counselor at OSU. A long time ago.
I am now a psychologist. I work half-time at the Harvard School of Public Health as a 'psychosocial interventionist.' As part of a huge research project I meet with the families of people who have had strokes. The rest of the time I am a psychotherapist in a small practice in Newton, MA. I work with individuals, couples, families. Although this is a far cry from mathematics, I have never lost my interest in the discovery method of learning and use it in my work. I also seem to get along with engineers and computer types who usually have a hard time in therapy. I have two sons, one just finished his first year at Harvard; the other is a sophomore in high school.
Anyway, I send you all best wishes. Warm regards to Professor Ross himself!
- Jim Kelley
NOTE FROM 1996: I attended the Ross Program in 1995. I've been pretty active mathematically since leaving the program. I have been researching the p-adics, which I first learned about in your class. In fact, an article of mine was published. I completed a computer-based physics course through Stanford University. Even though I did not finish most of the sets, I feel that I am prepared for another summer at your program. I have worked out most of the proofs on my own. Outside of math, I am volunteering at a library and running for Student Government president. I took your suggestion and started a math program in my school, but people did not have time to do your problem sets.
NOTE FROM 2000: I graduated from high school in 1997 and enrolled in Penn State's Honors College. Thanks to my background in number theory, I was able to enroll in a course in factorization and primality testing in my first semester. In the fall of 1998, I attended the MASS Program, which I highly recommend to any RYS undergraduate alumni, and invite you to e-mail me for more info. I released an album of electronic music under the name "matroidian" last year, but I'm not seriously entertaining the idea of a career in the business. After a few bad experiences with applied math, from CS-flavored numerical analysis to teaching to actuarial work, I've decided to stick it out with academia. My current focus is analytic number theory, and I'm working on a thesis using the Hardy-Littlewood method to prove that every large integer can be expressed as a big mess of cubes and squares with a few coefficients.
I still like mint milanos and don't keep a normal sleeping schedule, if any of you were wondering.
- Eileen Kelly
I am here at the program so obviously I do intend on coming to the conference. But you asked what we've been doing since the program, and, although I am still here, maybe my 'story' could help get funding or whatever. If you ever need a good, PC story about how wonderful Ross is for girls, I am a prime example.
My first summer was '94, (now I'm a third year (JC)). My father read about Ross Young Scholars in this catalog of good programs that Duke sent me in seventh grade for doing 'well' on my SATs. (Incidentally, PROMYS advertises themselves in that book as having had counselors from the renowned RYS program, which helped my father figure out that this one was/is the best!) So he mailed Prof. Ross for the application, and I filled it out, though not without a lot of pressure to do so from my father. But I did it all on my own, even though I HATED math. From the time I was in kindergarten, my math teachers have always made it clear that I was inept in mathematics. My father, however, believed that they were wrong, (mostly because I did well on Standardized tests.) So he made me go to Ross ... I came here SO SO SO behind!!! I had never REALLY had algebra, so basic stuff was still hard for me. Anyway, my counselor my first year took excellent care of me, and everyone acted as if they could relate to the types of problems I felt ... After hating math my whole life, I was very surprised to learn, after my first week of Ross, that I really loved it! I ended up finishing enough sets to return as a second year and do combinatorics, (and I attempted to follow ANT, but that lost me a lot!) and now I am back again, and doing Topology. (Which, incidentally, I REALLY like!) Pre-Ross I was planning on majoring in psychiatry and performing arts. Now, (although I still do a lot of performing, and I still love it), I am decisive about majoring in Mathematics. I NEVER would have considered it without experiencing this program. That's why the idea of it not getting all the funding possible makes me so angry! There are lots of people who come here and have their lives forever changed by this incredible place, and the idea of no one else being able to experience it is horrible ... But I guess I am rambling about things you already know. But if anyone ever says this program is not kind to women, or that it doesn't give females equal opportunity, maybe they'll shut up after hearing about how good it has been for me. (An idealistic view, I realize!)
If there is anything I can do to help with the conference, I sincerely hope you will tell me!! I, obviously, feel that I owe a great deal both to Professor Ross and to the others involved in the program!!
- Janet Kelman
I attended Dr. Ross' Program in the mid-'60's. While at The University of Michigan, studying chemistry, I fell in love with glass. I completed my science degree and became an artist, focusing on hot glass: lampworked, blown, slumped, and fused. Since 1985 I have been designing and sandblasting glass for public and private architectural comissions.
I live and work just outside of Detroit (still) and try to think deeply of simple things.
Huntington Woods, MI 48070
- Marna Knoer Belcher
I teach math, physics and interdisciplinary core curriculum to students in grades 6 - 8. I arrived at this amazing state of affairs starting out doing the math thing in high school, moving up to the university, got bored with the university students and didn't enjoy the writing papers and doing research, went back to h.s., someone suggested younger folks were less, well, set in their ways, so I moved to middle school where I haven't had the opportunity to be bored in 9 years.
An incoming 6th grader came in to be placed two weeks ago. He had noticed that the golden ratio couldn't be written as a fraction, he didn't know the word irrational, and had concluded that it was a Fibonacci number and wondered why that happened. We've spent the last two weeks getting to the place where he can see how that came about. He also helped me clean my room for the summer and put away my rockets and volcanoes. That's the way I've used what Dr. Ross has given me, helping kids enjoy math, sometimes in spite of themselves.
- Norman Kohn
Dear Arnold: I sent a quick first draft of this to Dan before the birthday conference, but realize now that I left much unsaid. I'll try to do better here.
After my two summers in the program (1967-68) I went on to MIT, where I spent a lot of time with computers, grew up a bit, and majored in mathematics and philosophy. Deciding that I was more interested in minds than in computers, I went to Yale Medical School with the intention to discover more about how thinking and minds work. I told my medical school interviewer that I wanted to discover the biological basis of the ego... and, with some editing and commentary, that is still my principal scientific interest. A companion clinical interest, in teaching staff and helping patients to achieve their potentials and to overcome their respective burdens, took longer for me to recognize and develop. Along the way I had first to find that I enjoyed practicing medicine, and then identify and make my own the specific things that I found special (and learn to avoid the others).
After medical school I did further training in neurology and psychiatry. Since 1983 I have been chairman of the neurology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, and I am associate professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at The Chicago Medical School. I spend a good part of my time teaching students and residents. My two favorite teaching settings are the intensive care unit, where complex overlapping illnesses need to be sorted into simpler and distinct entities before they can be treated; and problems of psychosomatic illness, impaired cognitive function, and mood and thought disorders, where interactions between cause and effect are often complex and where it is essential to 'think deeply about simple things.' (Prof. Ross always credited someone else with that advice... a chemist, I think. Who was it?) I anticipate resuming psychoanalytic training, which I deferred years ago.
For two of my MIT years I roomed with friends from the program, Bob Rozenberg (now a physician in Israel, I believe) and Bob Fourer (now a professor in Industrial Engineering at Northwestern), and I married an SSTP classmate, Lisa Salkovitz. Our sons are thus, in some way, full-bred grandchildren of the program.
By the way, when I was a neurology resident at the University of Chicago, around 1978, I saw a young and very sleepy looking student scurrying across the campus at about 9 a.m. I followed him into a lecture hall where I found you lecturing on number theory! We visited after; and later that week, over lunch at the faculty club, I heard of your work teaching number theory to young people in Australia and India.
You and I took up this topic again in August of this year, when you spoke of your efforts to inspire talented youth to pursue excellence (and mathematics). You spoke of the frustration of explaining, to a long series of funding agencies and representatives (your program, after all, has outlasted the careers of many) how important it is to inspire and to guide talented young people, to encourage them to ask fundamental questions, to invite them to challenge basic assumptions and to look at the meaning behind what they had been asked to memorize in school. It is clear from the careers and responses of your students that you have succeeded in helping many to lift their eyes to a distant horizon, to explore and to teach, and to challenge themselves to excel and to be productive, whatever their ultimate choice of field.
Part of the genius of your approach has been to work with students barely old enough to leave home and be intellectually independent. To fertile minds eager for adventure you offered association with others of like talent; exposure to teachers who shared your zeal for mathematics and for intellectual exploration; and a setting in which clarity and intellectual honesty were valued above all else. The expository style of your 'children,' as evidenced by the talks this past weekend, is one in which excitement and discovery are openly communicated and shared.
Taking students at the beginning of their careers, you sometimes cannot see the full fruits of your work. Like Johnny Appleseed, you have had the wisdom to know that the work you began would continue, even when you couldn't see it directly. You aptly compared your work to an epidemic: and the epidemiologist is comfortable recognizing an overall pattern, without needing to trace each contact. Last Friday evening, at Bernie Baltz's home, our reunion group was joined by a young mathematics post-doc. He asked if we were all there for the conference, and asked about the program. Just then his wife, noting my resemblance to my brother, asked if I was related to Bob Kohn. Her husband had been Bob's student. There in the kitchen with us was David Fried, Bob's counselor in 1969. So this fellow, too, was one of your mathematical progeny.
At the banquet stories were told of your difficult exodus from Russia; and, years later, of your knack for inducing students and acquaintances to share in your vision. In fact, I suspect that the two are related and represent a sort of self-selection: the charm by which you calmed angry students and won them over to your cause in the sixties, was probably the same sort of charm that enabled you to escape tyranny and bureaucratic constraints decades ago.
I am grateful to Dan Shapiro for crafting the occasion and creating this opportunity to honor you for the ways you have influenced my friends and me. It gave me great joy to see old friends, to sit with them again after decades in the places where we shared important moments of our adolescence, to resume contacts long lost. It was equally valuable to see the magnitude of your impact on several generations of students, a group not likely to be assembled again. I enjoyed meeting Madeleine and hearing of your courtship and to see how she shares your vision.
Happy birthday indeed!
Mount Sinai Hospital
Chicago, Illinois 60608
It's been almost three years since the 1996 reunion; as my younger son starts to ask me about the OSU summer program, I realize that it's time to renew my greetings from 1996. As you know, I married Lisa Salkovitz in 1979. We met as students in the program in 1968. Our two sons, Isaac and Russell, are thus "grandchildren" of yours. Both have shown a keen interest and aptitude for mathematics.
I have left Mount Sinai Hospital for a solo private practice, in part so I could devote more of my time to psychiatry and psychotherapy. I find psychoanalysis a fine realm in which to "think deeply about simple things." Of course, the resulting thoughts don't remain so simple; instead, by restricting inquiry to a narrowed focus, a host of complicated and wonderful things come into view. (The Beethoven string quartets come to mind.)
With best regards
- Robert V. Kohn
I was a student then a counselor in the late-sixties/early-seventies. Between OSU summers I was an undergraduate at Harvard along with a whole bunch of other program people including David Harbater and David Jerison, graduating in 1974. Spent one year at University of Warwick (got a MS there, learned a bit about stochastic differential equations). Then went to Princeton for Ph.D. study. My advisor was Fred Almgren, but I never really did geometric measure theory; he encouraged me instead to think about nonlinear elasticity and structural optimization. In retrospect this was good (if unconventional) advice. Got my Ph.D. in 1979, and I've been I've been at the Courant Institute ever since: first as an NSF postdoc (79-81) then as a faculty member (in mathematics). My research has been on nonlinear PDE, optimal design, elasticity, inverse problems, and -- the main focus of the past few years -- mathematical aspects of materials science. These topics are scientifically at some remove from what I learned at OSU. But Dr. Ross's program was my first exposure to the excitement of research, and in that respect it was very formative indeed.
Courant Institute, NYU
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185
- Rick Kreminski
I attended the summer school at the University of Chicago in the summer of 1976. I went to MIT, graduating with an undergrad degree in biology in 1981. My 'true love' was physics, but I did not fulfill all degree requirements (all but undergrad thesis). I had taken the Putnam, though, and scored around 110th in the country, and was 'recruited' to the University of Maryland at College Park, in math. I planned on getting an MA in math, then pursue a PhD in physics. But I passed the written exams at the PhD level, and stayed on for a PhD in math, working part time on the degree after my daughter was born. I have taught at The American University in Washington DC, and am now at East Texas State Univ. (soon to be renamed to Texas A & M at Commerce). My dissertation was on Lorentzian spin manifolds and used some sheaf theory and differential geometry (`Graded manifolds with spin-conformal structure'), so it is doubtful that any seeds were planted in the summer class. I DO enjoy group theory and number theory (which I was first exposed to at Chicago): I have a Master's student writing a nonthesis paper on both an analytic proof, and an elementary proof, of the prime number theorem. I also have an undergrad doing a reading course on group theory and field theory.
Please convey my best wishes to Dr. Ross! He might be interested in knowing that while I cannot recall a thing I did in the summer of 1975, and can only recall a two-week trip I took in the summer of 1977, the strongest memories I have of those high school summers is of that summer school in 1976!
Dept of Mathematics
East Texas State University
Commerce, TX 75429
- Nat Kuhn
I attended Dr. Ross's program once as a student in 1974 and twice as a counselor in 1975 and 1976. I was quite impressed with myself when I arrived there in 1974, having just graduated from Princeton (NJ) High School and having taken Princeton (University's) Honors linear algebra/multivariable calculus course. I was quite sure that a program for high school students could offer little challenge to me! Little did I know the surprise which lay in store for me. The program was a wonderful place for a bright young mathematician to spend time, both as a student and as a counselor. It offered both intellectual challenges and a sort of camaraderie -- you knew that the things which mattered to you mattered to others there, too. Rob Indik, whom I met on the first or second day of the program, remains a friend to this day.
I finished my undergraduate work in mathematics at Harvard in 1978, and then spent a year traveling -- several months of that year were spent in Paris with a desk at the I.H.E.S. and in the company of fellow Ross alumnus Stuart Haber. In the fall of 1979 I started in graduate school in Princeton and finished my math Ph.D. in 1984, studying low-dimensional topology with Bill Thurston.
I spent the following two years as a C.L.E. Moore Instructor in Mathematics at M.I.T. I taught in an experimental program called the Integrated Studies Program (ISP), an attempt to offer an integrated approach to the freshman curriculum; I also taught the honors freshman calculus course for one year.
By that time, however, it was becoming clear to me that the world of mathematical research was not for me. Though intellectually stimulating, it was hard for me to find rewards in the work which were sufficient to sustain the intense concentration and resilience which mathematical research demands. I eventually chose to go to medical school (at Stanford), thinking that I would become a psychiatrist. As this invitation arrives, I have just completed my residency training at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry program, and have started my first job at the Cambridge Hospital.
When I tell people about my background, they often remark that one could hardly find two fields more at odds -- the crystalline purity of mathematics and the emotionally charged world of psychiatry, loaded as it is ambiguities. There is some truth to that, but it is also true that mathematics and psychology/psychiatry may be the two fields which take 'the life of the mind' most seriously. In that sense, Arnold Ross, with his admonishment to us to `think deeply about simple things' and his seriousness about the life of the mind has been a constant mentor to me, and I am very grateful for the opportunities he and his program gave me and so many others over the years. He is a truly remarkable man.
I am delighted that you are holding the conference and I wish to send Arnold my congratulations, best wishes, and deepest respect.
- Ian Lee
I graduated from high school in 1994. I finished my second year of college at the University of Michigan and am applying to medical school this summer.
- Margaret Lee
After the Ross Program I finished high school and went to Princeton for college. From there I went to Harvard to start a Ph.D. program in organic chemistry but hated Harvard so left after a year. Worked as a synthetic chemist in New Jersey for two years, then went to medical school. Graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and since then have been in a plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. The program is 8 years long so I shall be here a good long time.
Please do circulate any of the information above! And sorry, I won't have a mathematical lecture to give. I have all but lost interest in math, either despite or because of my summer at math camp.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
2130 Taubman Health Care Center
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
- Douglas A. Leonard
1970-1980 Graduate student at Ohio State, active in the summer program Ph.D. in combinatorics under R. M. Wilson
1980-81 Post-doctorate at Michigan State
1981-present Auburn University, currently an associate professor in the Department of Discrete and Statistical Sciences
Research interests: distance regular graphs and algebraic-geometric codes Teaching: coding theory, graph theory, enumeration, linear optimization, and occasionally linear algebra, abstract algebra, differential equations.
- Natalie A. Lester
It has only been one year since my summer with Dr. Ross, but I have been very busy. Because of the independent nature of Ross' program, I learned to teach myself rather than relying on others to teach me, and this year I took two classes as independent studies. One class was calculus, in which I finished a two-year AP program at my school in one year, and the other class was a computer independent project in which I taught myself HTML, the language of the Internet. This summer, I am teaching computer classes at my school's summer program and I am helping in the creating of a page on the World Wide Web called 'Channel 0'. I am looking forward to my busy senior year of high school; I am editor of the school newspaper, co-chair of the script committee for the senior video, and co-president of the political club. Reflecting back on Ross' program a year later, I think it was definitely a great experience.
- Edwin Lin
I was a student of Professor Ross back in the summer of 1992. I was perhaps a bit immature then (although I was older than most of the other first years), but I believe I have calmed down a bit and settled in to my own little comfortable niche at Harvard College. I am now a rising senior at Harvard concentrating in applied mathematics. It must be a disappointment that I am not concentrating in pure mathematics, but I believe that the best interests of my future is in applied mathematics. I have applied the mathematics that I have been taught into economics. Luckily for me this year, I have been rather successful in my studies. Next year, I will write a thesis about the labor and capital markets with an econometric approach. I have a special interest in business (investment banking). I have interned at BlackRock Financial Management in the summer of 1995, and I will be interning at JP Morgan this summer. I guess I can really attribute a lot of my interest in this area to Ohio State. I am not a big fan of theory, but I do enjoy its rigor. The same can be said about applications. There are always several methods to get an estimate, but how accurate your estimate will be is dependent on your rigorous approach. Investment banking was an area that I thought I could apply my efforts into. I have chased my dream, and I have gotten my foot in the door. Next year, I will graduate, and hopefully be a mainstay in the investment banking industry.
Thanks for listening, and good luck with your program! I didn't realize the value of your program when I was a student, but I do now. Thank you.
In the pursuit of knowledge,
Edwin Lin (email@example.com)
046 Quincy Mail Center
Cambridge, MA 02138-7530
Home: 112-01 Queens Boulevard, 15D, Forest Hills, NY 11375
- Donald Marolf
Since being associated with the Ross program I have progressed through grad school and postdoctoral studies in Physics. As of next year, I will be an Assistant Professor of Physics at Syracuse University.
- John Masley
I'm sorry I won't be able to be in Columbus next month for the Ross 90th birthday celebration.
You may have records of my first year (1963) in Arnold's program, but I continued in the same program at Notre Dame as a student (1964) and a counselor ('65 and '66).
I attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate math major and got my Ph.D. in (algebraic) Number Theory [unique factorization for full cyclotomic fields] from Princeton in 1972 where there were many former Ross Program alumni. I'll assume Joe Neisendorfer has filled you in on that crowd.
I remained in academia for 12 years, doing more research in number theory, but moving on to algebraic error-correcting codes where I used number theory as a tool.
Since 1984 I have been working for Bell Labs in Naperville, IL where my number theory now has dollar signs and zeroes the company's (now called Lucent Technologies) money, not mine.
- Jeff Maso
I was a student in the program while it was still at Notre Dame in 1963, and then at OSU in 1964. I was then a counselor at OSU in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
What have I been doing for the last 30 years. . . .
I was expelled from the University of Chicago during the sit-ins at the time of the Cambodia invasion. (1969 or 1970)
I worked as a typesetter and proofreader in Chicago for a while, and as a freelance writer. For a while I was a columnist and music reviewer for a weekly underground newspaper.
I moved to San Francisco in 1974 and worked for a chain of stereo stores selling hi-fi equipment. While there, I met and married my wife, Beverly, who was also selling stereo equipment at the same store. We have one child, a son. Jake is now 20 and an undergraduate at Columbia University, majoring in urban studies and cultural anthropology.
In 1979 I quit selling stereo, got a real estate license and sold houses for a while. My wife went to work at a bookstore. Later she became a sales representative for Simon & Schuster.
In 1982 I decided to go to law school. Since I had never graduated from college, this was a little weird, but I did it anyway. I went to the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where I ran into Dan Rubinfeld, who was teaching there.
Since 1985, I have been practicing law, doing real estate transactional work (leasing, commercial development, lending, and such). I like it.
We still live in San Francisco.
Jeffrey B. Maso
Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass
- James W. McHutchion
I still work for Tandem Computers as a Software Developer. My current project is to model SQL Decision Support Systems so that we can properly advise clients on the resources such as cpu and disk that they will need for very large databases 500GB - multiple Terabytes.
My oldest daughter goes to Central Bible College in Springfield Missouri and is getting married this Summer.
My youngest daughter is graduating next month from high school and is the valedictorian of her class. (Aren't I proud!) She will be going to Evangel College in Missouri as well.
My wife and I have now been married 26 years and live in Livonia MI.
Jim McHutchion (1970-1974)
- Shomik Raj Mehndiratta
I attended the program in '88, was a JC in '90, and a counselor in 1991. I am graduating this summer from U C Berkeley. I will get a PhD in Transportation Engineering. My plans for the late summer are pretty flexible at the moment (a lot depends on when and where I start working!!). But I think this celebration for Dr Ross is a great idea!
- Curt A. Monash
Unlike most SSTP students, I came to the program after my junior year of college, in 1975, when I was 15 years old. Attending the relativity seminar with Professors Geroch and Chrandesekar helped me decide to drop a physics major. Since I'd already completed a math major, I switched to that, and attended Harvard.
When I arrived, I was one of half a dozen SSTP graduates out of approximate 42 total math graduate students, not counting Alice Silverberg, who was an undergraduate already taking graduate classes.
After my first year, I returned to the program as a counselor, still in Chicago, read economics books, and laid plans to switch fields again. So my third year of graduate school I wrote a thesis in game theory, and went over to the Kennedy School of Government as a post-doctoral fellow.
After two years of that I was 21 years old, had spent my last 9 years at universities, and wanted to try something else. That wound up being a stock analyst position at PaineWebber, analyzing the then tiny software industry. And so I started hanging out at Oracle before it had 50 employees, Lotus and Microsoft while they were still private, etc. By 1987 I had entrepreneur envy, and went out on my own. I started one company which crossed the $40 million annual revenue mark (Evernet Systems, the "superVAR" in the first Geoffrey Moore book), but on the whole didn't quite make it. So I switched to being a self-employed industry analyst, consultant, etc.
One thing led to another, and I'm starting a company to replace the dead-end technology known as "search engines" with something that stands a reasonable chance of being a useful application platform. If we succeed, the day of the Star Trek computer will be a *lot* closer at hand. Some of the ideas have been made public already, and those can usually be found at www.monash.com
And we're always looking for smart, creative, open-minded, highly analytical people, who think deeply about simple things, and figure out how to salvage oversimplified ideas that almost but don't quite work.
As for what the program meant to me, perhaps less academically than, for other folks, as I was fairly advanced in my studies without its help. But it was also my first exposure to Borges and Calvino and The Hunting of the Snark and classical guitar and Risk and Diplomacy and, for all practical purposes, soccer, and, perhaps most important, it was where I learned many things about teaching.
- Wren Bowlan Montgomery
You may not want to count me -- since I attended the program last year, I have decided to drop out of high school and go to caltech next fall. That's the biggest thing that I've done since ross -- give me another ten years, and it'll be more interesting.
- Gerry Myerson
I got a Bachelor's degree in Math at Harvard, a Master's at Stanford, and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. I also attended Cambridge University for a year in between Stanford & Michigan.
I was on the faculty at SUNY Buffalo, 1977 to 1985, and have been on the faculty at Macquarie University (in Sydney, Australia) since 1987. I have also served at The University of British Columbia, the University of Texas at Austin, Southwest Texas State University, and Brigham Young University for one or two semesters each.
I have published 25 papers in refereed journals of mathematical research.
- Richard Newcomb
I attended the Ross Program in the summer of 1976, when it was held at the University of Chicago. It definitely was one of the finest experiences of my life. Nat Kuhn was my counselor and I thoroughly enjoyed his help, the lectures of Dr. Ross, and all the comraderie. My life since has been largely devoted to mathematics and teaching. I graduated in math from Chicago in 1981, took a year off to teach on an Indian Reservation, and then went back to school at UW Madison, graduating with a Ph.D. in math under Mike Crandall. After seven years as an assistant prof at UT-Arlington, I joined the faculty at Cistercian Prep School as chair of mathematics. This is my current position and I feel in some sense that I have come full circle from that summer. In many ways the students here are like we were in the summer of 1976- bright and anxious to explore mathematics. I have incorporated some of Dr. Ross' style in my own teaching and I owe him a debt of gratitude.
I am also interested in discovering whether or not there are other alumni out there critically interested in pursuing excellence in school mathematics.
Richard Newcomb II
Chair of Mathematics
Cistercian Preparatory School
One Cistercian Road
Irving, TX 75039
- Mary Diane Palmer Leland
I earned a B.S. in mathematics from MIT, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin. I now work for Hewlett-Packard in an advanced development group. The Ross program gave me an excellent foundation for mathematics and for the logical reasoning needed in computer science.
home: 36 Ridge Drive East
180 Park Avenue Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
Building 103 (908) 464-9364
Florham Park, NJ 07932
- Christopher Pappacena
Currently, I am in my third year of a PhD program in Mathematics at the University of Southern California. I received a BS in Mathematics and Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. I still take Number Theory classes, but my research is in Ring Theory. I started to 'shy away' from Number Theory when it became less and less algebraic and more and more geometric/analytic. But I did participate in the Fermat Conference at Boston University in August 1995 and ran into a couple of other Ross Program alumns (Brian and Keith Conrad, and David Pollack, all of whom are Number Theorists).
(summer 1988 participant).
- Raymond T. Pierrehumbert
A short biography, written as an appreciation of Dr. Arnold E. Ross and the Ross Program.
There follow a few biographical remarks on my life to date (1999) since the age of 15, when I spent my first summer at what is now known as the Ross Program. These remarks for the most part focus on my academic life, but for those of us who have found our way into Academia, there is of course no strict way to separate life in general, and the springs of our aspirations and joys, from the life of the mind. Some earlier versions of this small biography were intended as a small appreciation of Dr. Ross on the occasion of his 90th birthday, but the news of that event reached me while I was on sabbatical in Paris, and I think perhaps my contribution went astray and did not arrive at the time of the festivities. I'm happy to see that many of my fellow alumni and alumnae were able to be present, or had contributed written testimonials. The following is written more or less de novo.
I came from a suburban New Jersey high school of modest academic strengths, blessed by teachers who were accommodating and supportive and willing to give me time to explore on my own, but who didn't have the background to provide a great deal of guidance. It was my encounter with the Ross Program the summer after 10th grade that first introduced me to real intellectual rigor, and the excitement of bringing one's full mental endowment to bear on hard problems. I knew nobody in the program at the time, and picked it out from the NSF brochure on Summer Science Training Programs, but I still remember from the "problem set" that came with the OSU application how clear it was that this program was the real thing, and the one I desperately wanted to get into. It more than fulfilled my expectations.
In my first year (1970), it was the number theory program that most influenced me, and it was this area that has had the longest lasting effect on me, largely because the blend of conjecture, experiment and rigor forms a kind of archetype of the kind of thinking required in the area of physics I now find myself (physics related to the climate of Earth and other planets). I was a rather good, but not brilliant number theory student, having to struggle rather much to keep in the range of the top 15 to top 10, but this was part of the process of finding my own intellectual strengths. It taught me what kind of problems I could solve, how to go about attacking them, and how to make up for some shortcomings in quickness and cleverness vis a vis my more immediately brilliant classmates (people like Alan Grenadir or David Harbater, to name just two), by employing what I modestly think of as a few idiosyncratic abilities in the direction of thinking long and hard and in somewhat unconventional directions. I knew that pure mathematics was not the way for me, but in pursuing physics, the training that I got through the Ross Program helped me recognize the best virtues of rigor, without being crippled by it. In my first year, I never did get very far with either algebra or logic, and indeed I still do not do all that well with the more abstract parts of group theory.
In subsequent summers as a second and third year student, I had the opportunity to explore courses in mathematical logic, combinatorics, and analysis, among others. The course I took in Hilbert spaces prepared me for real analysis, and I found through this that analysis and continuous systems were to some extent my metier. This complemented an already growing interest in fluid dynamics and partial differential equations. Statistical arguments encountered in one of the combinatorics courses (the one that dealt with Polya's theory of counting) have had a long lasting influence on the way I think of problems in statistical mechanics, which often involve counting of one sort or another. At about the same time, my faltering attempts to program Polya Theory in PL/1 on the OSU computer gave me my first real start on computational methods. I never did get that program working, though it taught me a lot. I did manage to get a much simpler program on Diophantine equations working.
At this point I pause to note the importance of the social environment at Ohio State. My high school years were by no means miserable, and I had some companions through various activities. I never felt so relaxed or at home, though, as I did among the many friends I had at the Ross program. This was a great source of comfort and strength to me at the time. It is also worth mentioning that the Friday Readings at the Ross Program awakened in many of us a hitherto dormant appreciation of literature and the finer arts (always the close cousins of Mathematics, herself as much Art as Science). I remember anticipating these Fridays as a much awaited interlude of soothing warmth and rest. Father Ivo Thomas' reading of Hesse's Glasperlenspiel introduced me to that author, whom I much admired during my adolescence. I can no longer much stomach Hesse, but Father Thomas' readings led after a lengthy gestation to an enduring fondness for Thomas Mann, whom I read over and over, even to the lengths of the Joseph novels.
The early exposure to graduate courses during my three years as a Ross Program student, and my one year as a Counselor, served me in good stead at Harvard, where I majored in Physics. The only pure math courses I took at Harvard were the infamous Math 55, and Mackey's elegant graduate course on Real Analysis (largely point-set topology, Banach spaces and other Dieudonn material). Nonetheless, the things I had already learned at the Ross Program enabled me to go into much depth in the mathematics related to the Physics courses I was taking. Understanding Hilbert Spaces made all of quantum theory, and a lot of classical mechanics, make a great deal more sense. There were many Ross Program alums in Math and Physics at Harvard, and our companionship help us all learn more than we otherwise would have (especially in the course of Math 55, which required at the time a certain, shall we say, enterprise on the part of the students if one were to make sense of the lectures). I graduated Harvard after three years with a good lot of graduate Physics courses under my belt, but I will admit with only a Magna cum Laude rather than a Summa, following on an occasionally desultory approach to some of my course work in my Senior year. I won a Knox Fellowship, which I used to fund a year and a half at Cambridge University, in the Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. I was associated with the Astrophysics group, which was and still is very much involved with convection and heat transport. DAMTP was and still is a hotbed of free-wheeling physics, having everything from cosmology to bio fluid mechanics under one roof. By that time, I already knew that turbulence, fluids and nonlinear systems were what I wanted to do, and DAMTP was my chance to prepare myself for that line of inquiry. Hardly anybody was talking about chaos or nonlinear systems at the time. Ironically, I wound up doing my thesis, and much subsequent work on linear systems, in the person of fluid instability theory, and it is only in the past decade that I have worked around to dealing with strongly nonlinear behavior. One works where one can solve problems, and turbulence caught a lot of us young ones by surprise; we had the hubris to think that it only remained unsolved because no Ross Program alum had had a week-end to spare to work on it.
I came back to the U.S. and finished a Ph.D. thesis at MIT in about 2 years, largely based on the research I had done at Cambridge. My thesis was done in the Aero and Astro department, a free-wheeling home for fluid mechanics with few course requirements. My advisor was Sheila Widnall (subsequently both President of the AAAS, and until recently the Secretary of the Air Force), whose analytical leadership in vorticity dynamics and stability theory attracted me to MIT. At about the same time I also married Janet Breckenridge, a long-time friend from Harvard days. We are nearing our 25th wedding anniversary, and are blessed with two wonderful daughters.
While at MIT, I took one course in atmospheric fluid dynamics, from Jule Charney, one of the founders of the field. Jule was also on my thesis committee, and was a source of much inspiration. At the time I was a more or less undifferentiated fluid mechanician, and Jule's work and course exposed me to the wonderful problems available in geophysical fluid dynamics. Upon obtaining my Ph.D., with a lot of faith and backing from Jule, I accepted the offer of an assistant professorship from the MIT meteorology department. I say a lot of faith, because at the time I had exactly one meteorology course on my transcript. There was a lot of on-the-job training, but those of us in Earth and Planetary sciences never do quite catch up with all the things we need to know.
After some years at MIT, I took up an attractive opportunity at Princeton, first jointly with the university and a federal laboratory (the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), and later as Professor in the Geology and Geophysics department at Princeton. During my roughly seven years at Princeton, my work focused on idealized fluid mechanical models of atmospheric flow, on stratified flow over obstacles (related to mountains), on the "baroclinic instability" which transports heat from equator to pole, and on various problems in basic fluid mechanics. It was while I was there that I did some work culminating the program I started in my thesis, on instability of non-parallel flow; this showed a universal class of instabilities of flows whose streamlines are not exactly circular, and it is work I am very fond of. During my time at Princeton, I still had not "gotten my feet wet." My fluid dynamics was mostly "dry" and without either moisture or radiative physics. It was enough at the time, but not enough to treat the broad climate problems relating to the Earth and other planets, which were emerging in the late 1980's.
I took up a Professorship in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago in 1988, and immediately began learning enough about radiative transfer and water vapor physics to work on the exciting problems in climate my colleagues at Chicago were interested in. Why was the Cretaceous so warm? How could small astronomical orbital forcings be amplified enough to cause the ice ages? Why wasn't the Earth permanently frozen over during the faint-sun period prevailing during the Archaean? What kind of climate will we have if we double CO2? If we quadruple it? In recent years I have been much involved with the problem of water vapor in climate, and am participating as lead author of the chapter on feedbacks in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment. A lot of our theoretical approach to water vapor is based on statistics accumulated over ensembles of random walks, and I have very much leaned on my combinatorial training and number theory training at the Ross Program in my approach to these problems. I have also been involved in Mars paleoclimate in recent years, and, with my colleagues in Paris, recently came up with what appears (so far) to be the only viable theory accounting for the presence of liquid water on Mars early in its history. This theory involved incorporating an infrared scattering effect most of the field had been brainwashed into ignoring, and I like to think that Dr. Ross's constant exhortations to question assumptions and seek rigorous bases for assumptions helped us see through the smoke screen on this matter, as on many others.
The University of Chicago is a wonderful place, with very fertile interactions amongst departments. I have collaborations with Physics and Math on matters related to singularity formation in PDE's, and on Hamiltonian chaos. I encourage Ross Program alums reading this to send your best students here. We'll take good care of them. For those with children nearing college age -- send them too! I do my --> -- best to infuse my undergraduate courses with the spirit of --> -- Dr. Ross's number theory lectures.
My family and I have had two sabbaticals. The first was in Stockholm, and the more recent one was in Paris, during which time my wife and I were both pursuing research under Guggenheim fellowships. The family has become very fond of both Sweden and France, and we go back often to keep touch with friends and colleagues (with there being a lot of overlap between the two). My wife, Janet, is Professor of Linguistics at Northwestern, and we occasionally do a bit of work together; our first joint paper was on emergent grammars in dynamical systems, and now we are working on the evolution of categories in stochastic models of phonology. People can read more about my interests, both in and out of the Ivory Tower, at http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1
During the summer of 1987 (or thereabouts), Dr. Ross was visiting Princeton and I had the opportunity of meeting with him along with a number of other Ross Program alums in the area. I took along my older (and then only) daughter, who was one year old at the time, to introduce her to the man who had had such a big effect on my life. I remember Dr. Ross looking at her and musing that he only regretted that he probably wouldn't have the opportunity to have her in his program. Well, now it is twelve years later and that same daughter is thirteen, an age where one can begin to think of entering the Ross Program. In fact, she is fascinated by number theory and is teaching it to herself, in part from my very own copy of Uspensky and Heaslet which dates back to my own first year in the Program. I am happy to see that both Dr. Ross and his Program are still a vigorous presence in the world, and dream that perhaps things will work out that my daughter will have the pleasure of seeing Dr. Ross in a number theory classroom next summer.
Prof. R. T. Pierrehumbert
Dept. of Geophysical Sciences
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
- Jordan Pollack
Since summer of 1973 Jordan B. Pollack completed a BS in Math at SUNY Binghamton and a Ph.D in Computer Science at University of Illinois. He was an assistant professor in Computer and Information Science at Ohio State University from 1988 through 1994, suffering an overwhelming sense of deja vu nausea, every time he walked past north commons. At OSU, he discovered that Alice Silverberg (74) had kept his loaned copies of Uspensky and Vinogradov for almost 20 years. She gave them back!
He is now associate professor of computer science at Brandeis University, specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Complex Systems.
His most lasting contribution to the summer program was a poem called 'Numberwacky':
Twas summer, and the problem sets
grow harder and harder on the brain.
can make one go insane...
DEMO Laboratory, Volen Center for Complex Systems
Computer Science Department
Waltham, MA 02254
- Clay Prestia
I was a student in both the summer of 1965 and 1966.
I have a B.S. in Administration and Management Science from CMU, and a J.D. from the Univ. of Pgh School of Law.
My career has been involved primarily with the development of software systems for the analysis of various sorts of data used in Market Research and Marketing. Currently I am the founder and co-owner of Pacific Forecasting Systems, Inc., which develops customized client server software for product sales forecasting in large companies. We also provide software and services related to the analysis of other market data.
Diversions from the above have included extensive lecturing, consulting, and expert witness work in the area of computer performance and software development. I reside in the Pittsburgh North Hills area and am married (Jennifer) and have 2 children, Corin 10, and Alexandra 13.
Dr. Ross's program was, without doubt, my most important and valuable educational experience. I was and am honored to have been included in it.
9645 Kummer Road
Allison Park, PA 15101
- James T. Pyke
I graduated from Rice University summa cum laude with a B.A. in math and a B.S. in mechanical engineering in May of 1997. I am currently working at Enron Capital and Trade Resources, doing probabalistic modeling and risk analytics.
I am forever grateful to have been a participant at the Ross Young Scholars' Program for three years, 1991, 1993, and 1994, and especially grateful that I was able to be a JC during my third year. It was a very hard decision to not return for a fourth summer. In my experience, the opportunity to learn at the Ross Young Scholars' Program is simply unparalleled.
Being a Ross Young Scholar changed my life forever.
- Carlos Ramilo
17 has been the only true random number for me since that first day of class in Albert Pick Hall at Chicago. How can I forget the summer of '75? ... ping-pong in Felix Browder's basement (try it with Frank Adams) ... pizza with Charles Fefferman at Medici's across 57th from Powell's Books ... Herstein standing at the blackboard under the "No Smoking" sign smoking like a chimney ... "Historic Hitchcock Hall" t-shirts ... Mike Abrams' lasagna ... the Frog and Peach ... nocturnal shaving cream attacks on Curt Monash ...
I'm now in my second career as a database applications developer for Oracle, after 10 unfulfilling years as an actuary. It was hard to enjoy such a profitably practicable discipline as actuarial mathematics. The one redeeming quality of that tenure was I met my wife Hanna at Farmers Insurance, and we now have 2 promising young mathematicians, Charlene age 10 and Meredith age 8, who will also pass under Dr Ross's inspiring tutelage soon.
- David Reiner
Dear Dr. Ross,
I will always have fond memories of attending your 1968 program, which reinforced my perception of math (especially number theory) as exciting and challenging, as well as giving me the chance to interact with excellent teachers and very talented kids. You may have known my father, Prof. Irving Reiner at the University of Illinois (algebra, representation theory), who died about 10 years ago. My mother, Prof. Irma Reiner, is still actively tutoring in the Math Dept. at the U of I.
Here's a recap of what has happened to me since then:
- 68-72 Cornell University, A.B. in Math.
- 72-74 Peace Corps math teacher in a village in Zaire.
- 74-80 University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. in Computer Science `Adaptive Performance Tuning of Operating Systems'. (moved to Boston area)
- 80-83 Sperry Research, database researcher.
- 84-87 Computer Corp of America, research section director.
- 87-90 Lotus Development, Director of database R&D.
- 91-94 Kendall Square Research, VP of software development.
- 94-95 Fidelity Investments, VP of interaction tracking.
- 95-now Epsilon Data Management, Senior VP and Chief Scientist. (Epsilon works with large clients in database marketing)
Musically, I've written 4 books on American fiddle styles, and play with several bluegrass, oldtime, and Celtic bands, including my family band (wife Cindy on banjo, kids Andy and Eric on fiddle and rhythm instruments).
I send my best wishes to you, Dr. Ross, and to all others connected with the summer programs.
7 Russell Road
Lexington, MA 02173
- John Reiser
Since I last greeted Dr. Ross via electronic message on the occasion of his 75th birthday, I have left Bell Telephone Laboratories for positions in several companies doing research and development of software for the automation of electronic design - helping electronic engineers to design and manage complex electronic circuits.
From time to time I do find interesting connections with mathematics. About five years ago I discovered a good way to apply Hilbert's space-filling curve to display the pattern of accesses to memory made by a program, so that a person can comprehend what is happening while the program is running.
Right now I am using my home computer as sieving power, contributing to a project to extend the known factors of the Cunningham numbers (small integers raised to large powers, plus or minus 1).
I have fond memories of the summers of 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1971 which I spent in the summer program at Ohio State.
- Sendhil Revuluri
I attended the program in the summer of 1988. Since then I attended the Research Science Institute in Washington DC in 1989 (notable especially because there were a LOT of people from the OSU program there!) and graduated from the Illinois Math & Science Academy (a public, residential, statewide magnet school) in 1990. I attended the University of Chicago after that (with other OSU participants like Yue Wu and David Pollack) and graduated with a bachelors in physics and math in 1994. Since August 1994 I have been working for Swiss Bank Corp. (now SBC Warburg Inc.) in Chicago and currently trade exotic options on American stock indexes (among other duties).
431 S. Dearborn #1201
Chicago IL 60605
(h) 312 913 0419
(w) 312 554 5583
- Tom Roby
Since I was associated with the Ross Program (79-83) I graduated from Swarthmore in Math and Ancient Greek ('85) and got a Ph.D. from MIT in 1991 under Richard Stanley in Combinatorics. In graduate school I spent two summers teaching at David Kelly's HCSSiM, and three as head counselor and/or problem session leader at the PROMYS program at BU, run by alumni of the Ross Program. Since then I've been in a sequence of 1-year jobs: two at the University of Tokyo, two at Reed College, and now two at University of Wisconsin, Madison. I hope eventually to land a tenure-track job in math, but the constant strain of being on an extremely tough market is beginning to get old.
- Mark Roh
This fall I will be a senior at MIT majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in mathematics. I hope to earn eventually a Ph.D. in EE.
My address is:
2340 Clubside Drive
Dayton OH 45431
- Daniel Rubinfeld
To the best of my recollection, I attended the Ross program for five years, from 1960-65 (give or take a year). The first three years I was a student (at Notre Dame), and the last two I was a counselor.
The Ross program not only stimulated my interest in mathematics, but it also created within my a deep excitement and interest in scholarly research. I credit the program, including my fellow students and counselors with helping to prepare me for my career.
I graduated from Princeton in 1967, magna cum laude in Mathematics from Princeton University, then received a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1972. My graduate career was partially interrupted by the Vietnam War era; during that time I taught at Suffolk University in Boston and Wellesley College.
Since receiving my degree, I have taught at the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley (since 1983). I am currently Professor of Law (no law degree) and Professor of Economics, with research interests in public economics, law and economics, and econometrics.
- Michah E. Sageev
Hi, Here is my tale since leaving the program. I was in the program during the summers of 81-82. I did my undergrad years at MIT, and did my PhD at Berkeley, where I graduated in '93. I am presently on a British fellowship at the University of Southampton. My work is in geometric group theory and low-dimensional topology. Well, that's it. It's amazing to here Ross is still running that program.
Send him my best, Michah
- Lisa Salkovitz Kohn
After the Ross Program, including serving as counselor for one or two summers, I finished Harvard with a degree in math. However, I found the Harvard Math Department a fairly unwelcoming place for women majoring in math, a complaint that has continued for many years. By the end of my junior year, I was completed discouraged from pursuing my interest in math, and applied to law schools, choosing that as a more practical choice than my other interest, a PhD in philosophy! I got my law degree at the University of California at Berkeley, and have practiced law since then, switching in 1991 from a law firm practice in labor and employment law to serving as a full-time 'neutral' -- labor arbitrator and mediator, hearing officer in employment and housing discrimination cases, and arbitrating and mediating other employment and commercial disputes. This may seem a far cry from number theory, algebra and topology of the Ross Program, but the Program has been invaluable to me because of what it taught me at the time and in hindsight about thinking, learning, and the value of creativity and risk-taking in both. I watched myself and other kids encounter and solve problems in an atmosphere that was both highly collaborative and highly competitive. Much of what I learned I have tried to use with my own children, both of whom are gifted mathematically. Professor Ross has also been a role model as a teacher, even though when I teach, my subjects are law, negotiation, arbitration and mediation. His enthusiasm and encouragement and challenge to his pupils can be translated to any field. Finally, the friendships I made at the Program were invaluable, and provided a network of stimulating and satisfying contacts throughout the country. It was nothing less than a defining experience for me for many years. (I guess I shouldn't mention the soccer games and the annual injury list.)
1350 East 49th Street
Chicago IL 60615-2069 (home AND office)
- Rob de Santos
I couldn't be more pleased to hear that such an event is planned. Like many other participants the course of my life was changed very much by the summers I was in the program. My later success in life has been much greater because of the skills and values I took away from those summers.
Until a few years ago, when I became disabled, I was an aerospace engineer and worked on a number of aircraft and space projects including the space shuttle main engines. Among my major accomplishments was as the leader of a multidisciplinary team that reduced the manufacturing cost of the main engines by from $43 million to $35 million. I was also involved in office and factory automation on the B-1B program and have worked in hospital administration.
My disability is due to multiple sclerosis however, I am still able to get around on my own. These days I fill part of my time by collecting and reading mathematics. I look forward very much to attending in August.
Rob de Santos
407 27th Street
Vienna, WV 26105-1340
- Malka Schaps firstname.lastname@example.org
The summers I spent at the SSTP ('64, '66, '67) were surely the most significant stations on my way to a career as a mathematician, both from what I learned about how to formulate conjectures, search for counterexamples and prove theorems, and also for the role models provided by the members of the staff. I particularly appreciate Dr. Ross' efforts to provide female role models for the girls.
My two other mathematical adventures during my college years were summer positions as a research mathematician at the Bureau of Standards (a spin-off of being a Westinghouse finalist) and spring as a research mathematician in Germany arranged through the SSTP. In graduate school and after my life settled into the standard academic groove. I enjoy doing mathematics, I like going to conferences, I take my role of guiding graduate students very seriously, and I don't mind teaching service courses.
Once I got tenure, I started a second career as a writer, though I still spend much more time on mathematics, which is what pays the grocery bills. So far I have published three novels and two books on the Holocaust. Of the various things I do, I would say that mathematical research and raising children are the most intellectually demanding. Teaching and writing are much easier.
My last year of college I married David Schaps. We got our doctorates together from Harvard in '72 and took academic jobs in Israel. My husband received rabbinical ordination in '76 and served in the IDF as the rabbi of a reserve combat unit one month each year. He is currently chairman of the Department of Classics at Bar Ilan. We have two children: Sarah (23) is married and has a daughter; Eli (19) is studying in a yeshiva in Jerusalem. We also have two foster children, brothers, aged 15 and 12.
My first published novel Wildflower was about our adventures as foster parents. The second, A Time to Rend, A Time to Sew, has the distinction of being one of the few published novels in which the romantic hero is a mathematician.
I am considering writing a non-fiction book about mathematicians, to be called 'The Human Side of the Equations.' I am interested in collecting material, particularly anecdotes and illustrative incidents. At the moment I am concentrating on basic career decisions and early influences (a parent, a teacher, a program like the SSTP, etc.)
Department of Mathematics
Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, Israel
- K.R. Schmidt
After graduating from high school, I attended Iowa State University, where I received a B.S. in Mathematics with minors in Physics and French. I have just completed my third year of graduate school in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focusing primarily on graph theory and combinatorics.
- Daniel Shapiro
I attended the program in 1966 as a student and in 1967, 1968 and 1970 as a counselor. After graduating from Harvard I attended U.C. Berkeley, and got a Ph.D. in 1974 working in algebra with T.Y. Lam. Since then I have been at the Ohio State University Department of Mathematics.
In my early years at OSU I worked with Arnold in his 'broadly based' honors calculus. He had some wonderful ideas for teaching calculus to bright Freshman (for example, start with vectors in the first weeks). During the 1970s I did not work in the summer program, but after getting tenure in 1980 I began to get more involved. By the late '80s I became one of the regular seminar instructors. In recent years I have been teaching some of the more advanced courses. This summer I was busy as one of the organizers of the RossConf, celebrating Dr. Ross's ninetieth birthday.
- Stewart D Shapiro
I am Professor of Philosophy at Ohio State/Newark and at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland. At the moment, I am deciding which of these to make permanent. My main areas are logic, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of mathematics.
- Jimmy Shih
I am currently a senior at MIT. I am studying electrical engineering and computer science. I should receive my Master's degree next year. The analytic skills that I learned in the Ross program gave me a very solid background when I start studying engineering.
I enjoy building things. I like to design systems and see it work. At MIT, I have build many things. I designed a VLSI chip that does Fast Fourier Transform. I build a digital video tracking system. And I build a small CICS computer.
I am currently an intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first summer at JPL, I worked on the High Gain Antenna for the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft mission that will be launched at the end of this year. And I will be there again starting this summer for seven months to work on my Master thesis. My thesis will be on building Autonomous Spacecraft. I will be working on the planning and scheduling algorithms for the project.
After my intern at JPL, I plan to pursue a PhD degree in electrical engineering. I will start applying for graduate schools this fall.
Hope everything is well and thank you for the wonderful opportunity that your program gave me when I was in high school.
- Karansher Singh
Graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from OSU, currently working in Toronto on object/character deformation for Alias|Wavefront, the computer graphics and animation division of Silicon Graphics.
The Creature Shop,
Alias|Wavefront, a Silicon Graphics Company,
110 Richmond St. East,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1P1
- Cynthia Soderblom
this year, i worked on a science project on 'the effects of an electrostatic field on plant germination'. i found that the electrostatic field decreased the time of germination. for this project, i received a first in the marin county science fair, a fourth at the bay area science fair, and a $150 Bio-KPMG genius award. outside of school, i have been involved with summerbridge making waves, where high school and college students teach and tutor middle school students. out of many other things, this program has taught me patience.
- Wolfgang Soergel
It is with great pleasure that I write down my experiences at Ross' Heidelberg summer school in 1978. I was then 16 years old and it was my first encounter with "true university mathematics".
I still recall I felt extremely dumb for working so hard and understanding so little, and what a pleasure and encouragement it was as some argument (in one of the working groups) that I just couldn't understand turned out wrong.
I also recall how I first understood the Minkowski Gitterpunktsatz and why every positive integer is a sum of four squares, and I am still amazed by the beauty of these arguments I learned in Ross' courses.
And now I am at the university and its still the same: Working quite hard, feeling quite dumb, and not despairing for the love of the subject, which Ross's courses opened for me.
Viele Grusse zum 90 Geburtstag!
Professor Wolfgang Soergel
Tel: 49 761 203 5540 (Bro), 5604 (Sekretariat), 5541 (Fax) 49 761 553937 (privat)
Mein Bro ist Zimmer 429 im 4-ten Stock des Instituts
- Jay Spitzen
Thanks for the notice of the conference, but it's about 8 days before the due date of my first child, so I guess I'll pass.
As to what I've been up to for 25 years, that would be a long story, but here's the summary: did a PhD in Applied Math at Harvard, then went to work as a computer science researcher, first at SRI, then at Xerox. In 1979, helped to found a computer company, Convergent Technologies, where I worked until 1985. Having gotten bored with computing, and interested in law, I went back to Harvard for a law degree, and have been practicing law (mostly licensing, intellectual property, and other interactions between technology and the legal system) with a large California firm, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, ever since.
On the personal side, I got married for the first time a year ago and, as noted above, we are expecting a baby later this summer.
My very best regards to Professor Ross.
- Glenn Stevens
I was a student in the program for three summers: 1969-71; and a counselor for two summers: 1972-73.
I earned the BA in mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1974 and studied with Martin Kneser for one year, 1974-75, as a DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) fellow in Guttingen, West Germany, before beginning graduate school in mathematics at Harvard University in the fall of 1975. I wrote my PhD thesis under Barry Mazur, earning the PhD in 1980.
I was a Hill Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, from 1980 to 1984, but spent the first year 1980-81 as a visiting assistant professor at Brandeis University. In 1984, I moved to Boston University where I was tenured in 1988 and promoted to full professor in 1993.
I visited at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in the spring of 1985 and at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley on several occasions: in the spring of 87, the spring of 91, and the academic year 1995-96 as a Research Professor. I visited at Harvard University 1985-86 and the spring of 1987 and at Brown University in the spring of 1989.
I was a Westinghouse Science Talent Search finalist in 1971, a DAAD Fellow 1974-75, an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow 1985-89, and a Research Professor at MSRI 1995-96.
There are three alumni of the Ross Program currently in the mathematics department at Boston University: David Fried, Steve Rosenberg and myself. In 1989, David and I established a Ross-like program at Boston University which we call the PROMYS program (Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists). Steve has been with us for all but the first of those years. Also working with us on a regular basis are Ross alumnae Margy Baruch and Ira Gessel.
The lessons I learned in the Ross Program have stayed with me over the years and the attitudes and habits of mind I acquired there have influenced my later mathematical research in profound ways.
- Al Stickney
Here's what I've done:
- B.S. in Math / Michigan State Univ. / 1969
- M.S. in Math / Univ. of Michigan / 1970
- Ph.D. in Math (Algebra) / Univ. of Michigan / 1975
- Instructor, Dept. of Math, Michigan State Univ., 1975-77
- Did a substantial amount of coursework in computer science while on faculty at Michigan State
- Honors Lecturer (Mathematics), Freshman Honors Program, University of Delaware, 1977-79
- Deptartment of Math & Computer
Science, Wittenberg University, 1979-present. During that time:
- Assistant Professor, 1979 - 84
- Associate Professor, 1984 - 91
- Professor, 1991-present
- I served two 3-year terms as Dept. Chair at Wittenberg, 1982 - 88.
- I served as president of the Ohio Section of the M.A.A. 1992-93.
Wittenberg is a 4-year undergraduate liberal arts college, and I teach mathematics and an occassional (once every 2-3 years) computer science course. I've been very active in the Ohio Section of the M.A.A., serving on several committees and chairing some, in addition to serving as section president. I've also been rather active in the faculty governance structure at Wittenberg.
My professional interests lie primarily in the area of undergraduate math education, with a special emphasis on the use of technology in the teaching of math. In recent years, I've given numerous presentations and short courses on the use of graphing calculators and computer algebra systems. Among other things, I still enjoy problem-solving and number theory.
I continue to have an interest in music and am an active member of a recorder/lute group. I have a wife and two daughters. Both daughters are very interested in math and science. One will be in 10th grade and the other is heading to Williams College this fall planning to major in chemistry/pre-med.
Dept. of Math & C.S.
Springfield, Ohio 45501
- Donna Stuart
I worked in industry for seven years before finishing my degree. I am now teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
- David Sze
I am currently the 'Department Director' of the 'Network Operations Analysis' department at Bellcore. Bellcore is the telecommunications R&D company jointly owned by the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, Pacific Bell, U S WEST, SBC/Southwestern Bell, BellSouth). My entire working career, after graduating with my math Ph. D. from the University of Chicago, has been in telecommunications - first with Bell Labs and then (after divestiture) with Bellcore. My current role is to manage the engineering / computer science / analysis / consulting work of basically a 'consulting practice' -- my area being network operations (which is studying how the telecommunications network is 'managed' -- 'managed' being a technical term involving surveillance, alarms, security, billing, provisioning, etc.).
- Laurence Taylor
I went on to major in mathematics at Princeton University ('67) and get a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley ('71). After 2 years at the University of Chicago I went to the University of Notre Dame where I am now a Professor. My main mathematical interests are in the topology of manifolds and related areas. I still retain an interest in number theory from my days in the Ross program.
- Mark Travassos
I am going to be a senior at Harvard this fall. I am majoring in biology, focusing on entomology and ethology. The Ross Program has been very important to me in teaching me about problem-solving and proofs. It was also the first time I was away from home on my own, and I learned a lot about what it takes to live with other people. It really helped prepare me for college in this respect.
- Anne M. Troop
Dr. Ross' program was a great confidence builder and factored heavily into my decision to go through high school in 3 years. It wasn't just learning that I could do the work (or even learning that there was work out there that would actually be challenging) -- it was meeting other people who valued it! It set a good trend for my life in a culture which can often be anti-intellectual, particularly for women. Number Theory, Combinatorics, and Probability are also really cool stuff.
I received my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science and Engineering degrees from John Hopkins University in Mathematical Sciences in 1989 (4 years for the pair.) I had been working summers for AT&T, in connection with the Bell Laboratories Engineering Scholarship Program, and upon graduation, went to work for them full-time on performance of the Unix Operating System. That organization was later spun off to become Unix System Laboratories, then acquired by Novell, Inc.. Novell recently sold the underlying technology in a 3-way deal with SCO and Hewlett-Packard. I now work for Hewlett-Packard, writing boot code for an upcoming release. This summer, I am part-time at HP so that I can apprentice at a local organic farm.
I developed bilateral ulnar neuritis (carpal tunnel of the pinky) two years ago, and am using a nifty voice dictation system, DragonDictate, to enter this, rather than typing. I have become a pagan and a Buddhist (no, they're not mutually exclusive), and live in a non-traditional family with my two charming significant others, Jennifer and Phil, who are a med student and a roboticist, respectively. I am active in Sierra Club, fighting against a proposed flood control project on our local rivers. Ask me about how your tax money is being spent.
6 William St.
Summit, NJ 07901
(908) 273-1670 home
(201) 443-7539 work
- Joseph Turian
I attended the Ross summer program in 1995.
After the Ross program, I felt pretty much empowered in terms of my math ability (and I still do). I've always been a computer person, but, on the other hand, I've always tended towards programming that is mathematical (for example, if I write a 3D game, I try to optimize performance by deriving faster formulas for rendering and shading). After the Ross program, I spent my year doing compression research. During the summer of 96 I went to the RSI (Research Science Institute at MIT), spending the summer doing computer learning research at the MIT AI (Artificial Intelligence) Lab. I also was one of the 4 team members who went to IOI (the computer programming equivalent of IMO) in Veszprem, Hungary. This year, I will be graduating from high school as a junior. I have been accepted to MIT early action and I strongly want to go there. My current programming projects include furthering my summer research in AI, programming genetic music, and writing several games.
- Garrett Vargas
I participated in the Ross program in the summer of 1987 and 1988 (as a junior counselor the second year). I went on to Stanford where I received a double major in mathematics and computer systems engineering. I continued at Stanford and received a masters degree in computer science.
I have been working at Microsoft in Redmond, WA for the past two years. I'm a software developer on the handheld PC, the new palmtop computers which run Windows CE.
- Bert Waits
Thirty three years ago I met you for the first time as a second year graduate student in mathematics at Ohio State. You changed my life in ways you probably never knew. I remained at Ohio State to complete my Ph.D. because you offered me the position of "Assistant to the Chairman" 31 years ago following in the footsteps of Harold Brown. The number theory classes you gave for 'your kids' also taught me what real teaching was all about. Even though I was not one of the kids I participated in many of your lectures. I learned more about good mathematics teaching from you than I ever did from any other source! Also in my four year tenure as your assistant I learned many other things that have served me well in my career. I have been very, very successful in my chosen field of mathematics education and I give you much of the credit.
I am sorry beyond words that I must miss your 90th birthday dinner. I will be with you in spirit. I also find it great comfort as I enter my sixth year of retirement from Ohio State that you still are teaching number theory to 'your kids.' I can only hope to be half as productive in the time I have left!
With great love and affection,
Bert K. Waits
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, The Ohio State University and
Visiting Professor of Mathematics, The University of Texas at Arlington
Mail: 338 Goshen Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43230
Phone: (O): 614-292-1934 (H) 614-475-5442
- Alissa Wall
I am currently an undergraduate at Harvard, where I am studying geophysics.
- Jeffrey David Wall
In 1994, I graduated from Princeton with a math degree. Then, I spent a year teaching math in Singapore and travelling around the Far East. Currently, I am a graduate student in the department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
- Max Warshauer
Since the Ross Program -- I graduated from Univ. of Chicago, with a BA in Math, 1973. I received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Louisiana State University in 1979, working on the Witt Ring and Quadratic Forms. Since 1979 I have been at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, where I am now a Professor in the Math Department. In 1990, we began the SWT Honors Summer Math Camp, modeled after the Ohio State summer program. This program has been funded by the NSF Young Scholars Program since 1992.
- David Weinberger
- A.B. Mathematics, Princeton '69
- Ph.D. Operations Research, Cornell '73
- Bell Labs, Holmdel, N.J. 1973 - 1976
- Yale (Visiting Lecturer) 1975 - 1976
- Goldman, Sachs & Co , N.Y. 1976-83 (VP, Options and Arbitrage and Head, Financial Strategies Group)
- The O'Connor Partnerships, Chicago 1983-present (Managing Partner, retired)
- Swiss Bank Corp, Chicago 1992-1996 (Managing Director)
- The Santa Fe Institute 1993-present (Trustee)
- Peter Wiggen
I'm currently a math major at Reed College. I intend to graduate in 1998 and go to graduate school. I am currently living in Portland and holding a summer job.
- Susan G. Williams
I'm a professor of mathematics at the University of South Alabama. I work in symbolic dynamics. I got my A.B. and S.M. from University of Chicago and my Ph.D. from Yale. I had a post-doc at UNC-Chapel Hill and spent a term at MSRI in 1992 (I was on the program committee for a special half-year in symbolic dynamics.)
- Ian Winograd
I attended the program in the summers of 1980 and 1981. After working in Banking for 12 years, I made a career change to the Casualty Actuarial field two years ago. I currently study for actuarial exams. One topic I am currently studying is Congruential Generators, as it relates to simulating insurance claims. I first learned about this topic at the program.
- Phillip Wisecup
I am currently a Professor of Computer Science at Roosevelt University in Chicago and I work in a summer program for inner city high school students at the University of Chicago. This program is related to the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica. I often teach the Number Theory course at Roosevelt University and will teach it again this fall. It is the only math course my colleagues still let me teach. I also spent 20 years in the Army Reserve as an artillery officer.
- Hsien Wong
I can't go to the conference but I just wanted to tell Prof. Ross that I think that his program was very meaningful. I was there during the summer of 1990. I still wear my 3 QR shirts! It was a good program because I started to think about Math in a whole new way. I just finished my undergraduate degree at Harvard, majoring in Applied Math.) I guess one of the things that I found out at OSU was that I didn't want to make a career out of Math and that I was more interested in using Math as a tool instead of doing Math for its own sake. Still it was a very satisfying experience. I still think of Math in a more rigourous manner.
Would you please send Prof. Ross my best and tell him that I believe he has created a wonderful summer program.
- Colin Wright
I attended a mathematics Summer School in January 78 and January 79 in Canberra, Australia. I remember Arnold Ross well, especially his exhortation to 'think deeply about simple things'.
I finished my B.Sc.(Hons) in Pure Mathematics at Monash University in November, 1982. I then was accepted at Cambridge University, England to do a Ph.D. After a one year conversion course I undertook three years of research under Bela Bollobas, working in Graph Theory and Combinatorics. While at Cambridge I also learned to play croquet, juggle, unicycle and ballroom dance, representing the University at both ballroom dancing and croquet.
In August 1987 I took a three year position as Research Associate in the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Manchester. The work was an extension of the material in my Ph.D. thesis and was interesting and entertaining.
In October 1990 I started a three year contract at the University of Liverpool as a Senior Systems Analyst/Programmers, researching, designing and implementing software tools for parallel programming. During my last year I also undertook consultancy work for an electronics company that specialised in radar and information processing systems.
In October 1993 when my work at the University finished the company for whom I had been doing the consultancy work offered me a full-time position with them. When asked `What will I be doing?' the reply was `I don't know, we'll make up something you'll enjoy.' With an offer like that, how could I refuse? I still work for them today.
In my spare time I have formed a company with a friend to produce and market a computer program we have developed. The program animates juggling patterns and allows the user to design their own patterns, to look at the ones provided, and also gives tutorials on learning to juggle. For more information on this you may like to look at our development web site at www.cix.co.uk/~solipsys/new/JuggleKrazy.html. Other activities include sailing small, fast dinghies, ballroom dancing, playing bridge and Go, (both badly), and watching old films.
- Yue Wu
Attended the University of Chicago. Graduated in 1995 with a B.S. in Math and an M.A. in Economics. Now work at Swiss Bank Corp., Warburg Inc.
- Rolf P. Wurtz
Dear Mr. Ross,
let me send you my congratulations for your 90th birthday and wish you health, happiness, and success for your future endeavors. I am one of the participants of your seminar at the University of Heidelberg, Germany in the summer of 1978. I enjoyed the seminar very much and it gave me sort of a head start of my studies of mathematics the same year, in the sense that my background was already decidedly wider than that of most of my fellow students. I think that such seminars are very important for talented teenagers as they give them a motivation that the schools often fall short of giving.
After finishing my studies with P. Roquette in 1986 I spent one year traveling around the world and started working on computer vision in the biological Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research. That work was continued in a newly founded Institute for Neurocomputing, where it lead to a Ph.D. in Physics. The main theme was computational and neural models for object recognition in camera images, especially methods for the recognition of human faces. Currently, I am working at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands on similar issues.
So I have come a long way, and I will keep the autobiography short, as I am sure that you will get lots of letters like this. Anyway, I would like to thank you again for that course in 1978. Although my contacts with number theory are now very sparse, I am trying to bring some of the curiosity-evoking style of your lecturing to my own teaching.
Dr. Rolf P. Wurtz
Dept. of Computing Science
University of Groningen
P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Phone: +31 50 363-7124 or -3939 (dept. secr.)
Fax: +31 50 363-3800
- Michael Yoo
I attended the summer program as a student in 1983 and returned as a counselor in 1985.
Since last attending the Ross program, I received my A.B. in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard College ('88). I then entered the graduate physics program at MIT where I trained as a experimental condensed matter physicist, (Ph.D. '93). My thesis research focused upon low temperature (near absolute zero) atomic hydrogen gases. I am currently a Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff at Lucent Technologies (formerly AT&T) Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. My research has been in experimental condensed matter physics; in particular, I am involved in scanning probe microscope studies of semiconductors.
I hope that Dr. Ross will be tickled by the fact that I find that my best work comes when I 'think deeply of simple things.' I always know that I finally understand a thorny problem or a complicated physical system when I can describe it using only simple physical pictures.
Please give Prof. Ross my warmest regards on his 90th birthday.
700 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974-0636
tel: (908) 582-3886
fax: (908) 582-4702
- Alisha Yi-wen Young
After Dr. Ross's program, I took Honor Calculus at Central Michigan University as a high school junior. Then we moved to Houston. I was involved in Science Olympiad in my senior year. Got first place in two events Cell Biology and Science and Fitness in state competition. Same summer, I started to work in University of Texas Department of Epidemiology MD Anderson Cancer Center Texas Medical Center doing biostatistics analysis on various projects such as head and neck cancer, RA, PJ syndrome. I entered Rice University at following Fall. Become an Emergency Medical Technician and ride in the ambulance. This last summer I went back to MD Anderson and did some more genetic analysis of various diseases. Right now I am a very happy sophomore at Rice.
Dr. Ross's program gives me the confidence I need to actively seek challenges. The summer in Ohio transformed me from a shy and uncertain high school sophomore into a problem-solver and an explorer. I will continue to carry the love for learning and discovering installed in me by Dr. Ross's program for the rest of my life.
- David Zalkind
After completing four years as a counselor in the Summer Program in 1967, I started the doctoral program in Operations Research at Stanford. However, early in 1968, my draft board decided to end student deferments for people who started graduate school in 1967. Stanford awarded me a Masters degree after only three quarters and Dr. Ross gave me a job as a Visiting Instructor in the OSU Mathematics Department. While teaching full time at OSU I started to take courses (primarily operations research). However, early in 1969, my draft board decided to end teacher deferments. I was able to get a position as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at a headquarters office in Rockville, Maryland. Shortly after moving, I married Julie Herman who I had met in the Stanford OR program. She and I both enrolled in the doctoral program in OR at Johns Hopkins to complete our graduate degrees. I commuted between Baltimore and the Washington D.C. area for three years.
In 1972 we both took faculty jobs at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I was in the School of Public Health teaching quantitative methods to health administration students. After 1 year, my wife took a faculty position in the Business School at Duke. In 1976 we each took leaves and moved back to the Washington D.C. area to take one year Intergovernmental Personal Act fellowships for a year, but never left. I was an IPA fellow for more than five years (may have set a record) before the Office of Personnel Management raised objections. My wife moved into a permanent position and rapidly rose to be a division director in the Department of Energy. Fortunately, a position teaching quantitative methods in the Department of Health Services Administration at The George Washington University opened up at about the time the IPA fellowship ended. Sometime between the birth of our first child, Robert, in 1980, and our second child, Jonathan, in 1984, Julie decided to work out of the home. In 1994, I moved to the Department of Management Science and currently teach quantitative methods courses to students in the business school.
The foundation I got in two years as a student in the summer math program when it was at Notre Dame and the four years as a counselor at OSU has served me well throughout my years of teaching. I think it is extraordinary that Dr. Ross has been able to continue the program through all the years of ups and downs of funding of science and math programs. He has done a wonderful service to the country by helping to mold so many students in the art and science of mathematics.
In contrast to the abstract math that I studied in Dr. Ross' programs, I try to bring the applied side of statistics and operations research to students, having them look for applications in their personal and professional lives. There are, of course, many ways to misapply mathematical models. Students often lose sight of the assumptions behind them. They sometimes need the equivalent of the reminder that 'it is not unreasonable to use the hypothesis!'
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- Michael Zieve
After getting my B.A. from Harvard, I got my PhD from UC Berkeley in Mathematics. I am about to start a three-year NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in which I will work with Joe Silverman at Brown University.