Dr Ralph Faudree's Obituary
It is difficult to overstate the multi-fold, deep, even transformational impact that Dr Ralph Faudree has had on the University of Memphis over the past 44 years of his service: as a world-class research mathematician in the area of graph theory since he joined Memphis in 1971; as Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences (1983-1994); as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1995-2000); as University Provost (2001-2012), as Interim-President (2000-2001).
Dr Ralph Faudree passed away on January 13, 2015, leaving an unfillable void. The University of Memphis has paid tribute to Dr Faudree's service with an announcement on January 14, 2015 to all Faculty Staff and Students by Interim Provost Karen D Weddle-West and President M. Davis Rudd. A University-wide Memorial Service was held on January 17, 2015.
The present obituary is written with focus on Dr Faudree as a long-time member of, and contributor to, the Department of Mathematical Sciences. In short: it was Dr Faudree who took a teaching-oriented department in the early 70s and by virtue of the sheer energy and charisma of his own example as a well-rounded international scholar and a far-reaching vision of the true values of academia, he managed to transform it into a mathematically research-oriented department, with areas of excellence, and a 100% research-active faculty, while simultaneously nurturing, expanding, and enhancing the educational mission of the department.This is the legacy that Ralph Faudree leaves to the DMS and the University of Memphis, to counter his irreplaceable loss. As explicitly noted in the official University of Memphis announcement of January 14, this he achieved through an aggressive recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty; development and implementation of rigorous research standards; development of a comprehensive and demanding tenure and promotion methodology; administration of a meaningful faculty evaluation process.
Dr Faudree received his Master and PhD from Purdue University in 1963 and 1964 respectively. He then taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, before joining the University of Memphis in 1971. Throughout his academic career, Dr Faudree maintained an active and prolific research program in the areas of graphical Ramsey theory and Hamiltonian theory of graphs. He has to his credit over 250 research papers, 13 published in 2013-2014 and 7 submitted in 2014, a testimonial of his dedication and commitment to the profession and the department.
He enjoyed an international reputation and served as a Visiting Professor at numerous universities world-wide: The University of Twente in the Netherlands, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland; the University of Paris; the University of Singapore; and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, to name a few. It is at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that Dr Faudree cemented his relationship with Dr Paul Erdos, one of the 20th century's most prolific and respected mathematicians. Their collaboration led to more than 45 joint articles in graph theory. Since Dr Erdos' death, Dr Faudree continued the work they had begun together, collaborating with mathematicians in both Hungary and the United States. He also helped to perpetuate Dr Erdos' work by co-sponsoring the Erdos lecture series at the University of Memphis and by establishing the Erdos Professorship in the DMS. In recognition of their support and regard for Dr Faudree, Mr. amd Mrs. Jabie Hardin endowed the Faudree University Professorship at the University of Memphis. Only in the last two years, Dr Faudree has given 6 invited talks and 2 plenary talks at international conferences, the last one at the VII Conference in Graph Theory held in Krakow, Poland, in September 2014. He was a co-recipient of the University's Distinguished Research Award in 1978; the Superior Performance in Research Award in 1986, 1988-90 and 1992-93; the College of Arts and Science Meritorious Faculty Award in 1991; and the Board of Visitors' Eminent Faculty Award in 1994. In 2005 he received the Euler Medal by the Institute of Combinatorics. Since 2012, he held the First Tennessee Professorship.
After returning to the DMS in August 2012, following his 11-year term as Provost, Dr Faudree's highly respected, charismatic, fair, iconic figure was instrumental in the continued success of the department: as a member of the Advisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. He was also most generous with his time, with both students and faculty alike. The DMS has received numerous correspondence from former undergraduate and graduate students who remember him fondly and grieve his premature departure.
His passing leaves a human and professional vacuum for all of us.
Dr James Jamison's Obituary
It is with great sadness that the Department of Mathematical Sciences announces that Professor James Jamison passed away on November 28, 2014. With strong determination and resilience he fought a very difficult and heroic fight against cancer that lasted for more than fifteen years. Nevertheless, during those years, he has continued a very active and productive professional life both as a beloved and sought-after teacher and mentor and a highly recognized and respected researcher in operator theory and functional analysis; while greatly contributing as Chair of the department to its notable advancement both within the university as well as at the national level. A member of the department since 1970, he has left an enduring and most valuable print on its development and its professional standing. He has continued to work on his research, teaching, advising while maintaining a regular professional schedule up to the very last days of his life. He will be sorely missed by his collegues, friends and students. A memorial services will be held on Saturday, December 6, at Grace-St Luke's Episcopal Church, 1270 Peabody Ave. Memphis. TN, including visitation at noon and memorial service at 1PM. There will be a reception following the service.
An Obituary has appeared in the Commercial Appeal, December 4, 2014. A scholarship in memory of Professor James Jamison is in the process of being created, if you want to contribute to this initiative please make a gift in his memory and restricted to the department of Mathematics Sciences fund at the UofM
Plenary Talks/Invited course-lectures by the DMS Faculty
The Faculty of the DMS is actively involved in cutting edge research in the mathematical sciences. This is reflected by the several high-visibility, invited talks and course-lectures presented worldwide. Some of the key-note talks and lectures recently delivered/to be soon delivered by the DMS Faculty are given in the above link.
Mathematicians and statisticians are listed in top 3 best jobs for 2014.
Congratulations to Dr. Hongqiu Chen who has won the Presidential election to the office of SIAM-SEAS. She presently holds the position of Treasurer and she will start her duties as President in January 2015.
Congratulations to Arun Jambulapati, BS student of Mathematical Science who receives award from NSF and starts his graduate career at the age of 15.
Congratulations to Dr. Segun George who has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research in Science, Engineering and Mathematics.
Congratulations to Nataliya Doroshenko who is a recipient of the 2013-2014 Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.
Congratulations to Dr. Paul Balister who has been awarded the Paul Erdős Professorship in Mathematics. This is the first Erdős Professorship awarded by the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Goldstein who has been invited to join the 2013 class of the Fellows of the AMS (American Mathematical Society).
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Kozma who has been inducted into the INNS (International Neural Network Society) College of Fellows 2013.
Congratulations to Dr. Angela Grant who is a recipient of the 2012-2013 Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Harold Stephens passed away on February 4, 2013 at the age of 93. He was a member of our department many years ago. As a window into the past, here is a history of the department written by Dr. Stephens in 1973.