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10-14-2010

Albany Native Endows Professorship at Clarkson University

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/wjharrington.jpg]

Clarkson University Mathematics & Computer Science Professor Erik M. Bollt has been named the W. Jon Harrington Professor of Mathematics.

Established through a generous donation by Clarkson alumnus Jon Harrington in honor of his father, W. Jon Harrington, the professorship will support mathematics education across all disciplines. It is also intended to accelerate the excellence of a young mathematics professor and ensure that the best mathematics faculty are recruited and retained at the University.Harrington

Jon Harrington graduated from Clarkson University in 1977, receiving a dual degree in mathematics and industrial distribution. He worked for Accenture where he eventually became managing partner of the North American Communications and High Technology Practice. He retired in 2005 and is a part-time venture partner for OmniCapital, a venture fund focusing on high potential IT and network start-ups. Harrington has been a member of the Clarkson Board of Trustees, Alumni Council, Business Leadership Council and Business Advisory Council. He and his wife, Janet, live in Bernardsville, N.J.

"As Jon’s father, I am thrilled that he has honored me with this endowment designated for the Math Department," said W. Jon Harrington. "I consider math a critical area for our society in the years ahead. And, I am equally thrilled that Jon, with this gift, is making a statement of the importance of private schools and universities, like Clarkson, for our education system in the United States."

"We are extremely grateful to the Harrington family for this opportunity to recognize an outstanding faculty member, who has become an internationally recognized expert in the area of dynamical systems," said Peter Turner, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. "This professorship is also excellent recognition of the importance of his Clarkson education by a highly successful graduate."

Bollt received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master of science and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Before joining Clarkson in 2002, he taught mathematics at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Bollt’s research involves nonlinear dynamical systems with applications including problems from engineering, biology, physiology, oceanography and physics.

His projects have included study of transport and biological presence by remote sensing from hyperspectral satellites imagery of bays and estuaries including the oil spill in the Gulf; control mechanisms in human gait and balance with medical personnel, image and information processing with teams at Los Alamos; work on the active control of wind turbine blade airfoil flutter; and the study of social networks and disease epidemic outbreak mechanisms.

Bollt’s classroom teaching has included his specialty of dynamical systems, as well as topology, advanced differential equations, numerical analysis, statistics, partial differential equations, modeling, computational science and engineering at various levels for levels ranging from freshman through advanced Ph.D. levels. His extensive work with students, including senior theses, master’s theses, Ph.D. dissertations and post-doctoral research, has often contributed fundamentally to his research.

Bollt has published book chapters and 100 peer-reviewed articles, and has a full length-book in progress. He has presented at many international conferences, is on the editorial board for several journals, and has several associated scientific member posts at international academic institutes and centers.

He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Army Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and corporate sponsors.

Bollt resides in Potsdam, N.Y. with his wife, Liz, and sons Adam, Keith and Scott.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: W. Jon Harrington (left) congratulates Erik Bollt on his appointment as the W. Jon Harrington Professor of Mathematics. The professorship was established through a generous donation by Clarkson alumnus Jon Harrington in honor of his father.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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