Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RIP Jack Hale (1928-2009)

Somehow I managed to miss this, but Jack Hale---one of the pioneers in the theory of dynamical systems---died last December. I didn't know Jack very well, but I met him during my time at Georgia Tech, and he was just a really nice man. He still showed up to the dynamical systems seminar every week. When I visited Georgia Tech in August 2005 (a few months after I left), he showed up on campus an extra day for my physics seminar---basically my talk was the reason he went to campus that day, and he hardly ever walked into the physics building at all. I appreciated his gesture very much.

If you're interested in Hale's mathematics, you can read the obituary and the references therein. I think those articles also mention the fact that Jack, through his leadership as department chair, helped build up Georgia Tech's mathematics department from a service department into a research powerhouse.

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