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Propp Awarded Chancellor’s Professorship at UC Berkeley

Appointment Is for the Spring Semester

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Prof. James Propp

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Prof. James Propp of the Mathematical Sciences Department has been awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Visiting Professorship in Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s a dual post,” says Propp. “I’m both a visiting researcher at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute [MSRI] and a lecturer in the UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics this spring semester.”

He is currently teaching a graduate course on random spatial processes, focusing on recent advances in the theory of random surfaces and random aggregation.

“The purpose of the course is to build a bridge between visiting researchers at MSRI and the grad students in my class,” says Propp.

He also expects to play a role in mentoring young researchers, explaining, “In addition to discussing the course topics, I also plan to address broader professional questions such as ‘What are some characteristics of a good research program?’”

Propp says he intends to organize and host an evening presentation open to the public that shows the visual beauty of this branch of mathematics. He will return to teaching at UMass Lowell in the fall.

Propp received his Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley in 1987. He taught at MIT and the University of Wisconsin at Madison before joining UMass Lowell’s Math Department in 2006.