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Mathematics Chair Chosen as New McIntyre Professor

Sol Friedberg (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 23, 2013

Professor of Mathematics Solomon Friedberg – who during his tenure as chair of the department has overseen a period of unprecedented growth and achievement — recently was appointed the James P. McIntyre Professor of Mathematics.

He is the third to hold the McIntyre Chair, established in the College of Arts and Sciences by a Boston College benefactor to honor BC’s longtime senior vice president. Former A&S dean and Professor of English Robert Barth, SJ — who died in 2005 — was the inaugural holder, followed by Professor of Economics Joseph F. Quinn, who will serve as interim provost and dean of faculties in June.

Friedberg – whose areas of interest are number theory and representation theory — joined the BC faculty in 1996 and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Since he became chair in 2007, the Mathematics Department has established a doctoral program and a new bachelor of science degree and organized a Distinguished Lecturer series, among other initiatives; its faculty have earned prestigious honors from such organizations as the Simons Foundation, Alfred Sloan Foundation, National Science Foundation and American Mathematical Society.

“The Mathematics Department has been one of the University’s great success stories in recent years, and Sol Friedberg’s work as chair has been instrumental in recruiting a strong cohort of junior faculty while launching a doctoral program and strengthening the undergraduate math major,” said College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean David Quigley.

“Beyond campus, he remains a leading voice on K-12 math education in Massachusetts while he continues to produce cutting-edge scholarship in number theory,” Quigley added.

“I am deeply honored to serve as McIntyre Professor of Mathematics,” said Friedberg, expressing his thanks to the University, McIntyre and the chair’s benefactor. “Mathematics has been a cornerstone of a Jesuit education since the Ratio Studiorum, and I’m very excited by the achievements in scholarship, teaching and service related to mathematics that are taking place here at Boston College, and that this chair will support. I look forward to helping us accomplish even more in the years ahead.”

Among his activities during the upcoming academic year, Friedberg will organize two conferences at the Banff International Research Station in Canada, one in interdisciplinary research involving mathematics and physics, the other bringing together mathematicians involved in math education from across North and South America. He also will serve as Distinguished Ordway Lecturer at the University of Minnesota.

This summer he will teach a course for advanced graduate students in Korea; the following, he will give a mini-course at the Second US-EU Building Bridges Automorphic Forms Workshop in Bristol, England.

Friedberg’s appointment was announced last month by outgoing Provost and Dean of Faculties Cutberto Garza at the American Mathematical Society’s spring meeting held at BC.