Fifth Mississippi State University Conference on Differential Equations and Computational Simulations

Honoring of Professor Jack K. Hale

May 18, 2001


     Remarks by Dr. Malcolm Portera, President, Mississippi State University:
I am honored to have the privilege to make a presentation on your behalf honoring one of the outstanding figures in the differential equation community worldwide.  The Mississippi State Conference on Differential Equations and Computational Simulations wishes to take this opportunity to recognize 50 years of major contributions by a great mathematician and a great and gentle man.

          Today we honor Dr. Jack K. Hale, Regents’ Professor Emeritus and founding director of the Center for Dynamical Systems and Nonlinear Studies at Georgia Institute of Technology, and the longtime editor in chief of The Journal of Differential Equations.

          Dr. Hale has published 15 books and more than 200 papers and has lectured throughout the world.   He has received honorary degrees from leading universities in Belgium, Germany, Portugal, and the United States, along with numerous prestigious awards and honors.  He has been instrumental in the in the development of the dynamical systems approach to the study of infinite dimensional systems, especially functional differential equations and partial differential equations.

          Dr. Hale received the bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Berea College in his native Kentucky in 1949 and earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.  

He was a professor of applied mathematics at Brown University for 24 years before joining Georgia Tech in 1988 and founding the Center for Dynamical Systems and Nonlinear Studies.  The center quickly became one of the nation’s premier centers of mathematical research.

          Dr. Hale has commented that mathematics is a universal language, but one that nevertheless sometimes encounters communications barriers.  One of his great contributions has been to promote greater interdisciplinary understanding among mathematicians, engineers, and others.

His direct contributions to the field of differential equations are of the first magnitude, but Dr. Hale’s proudest accomplishment may be his long record of mentorship to young mathematicians.  Dr. Hale is renowned for his guidance and support of graduate students and his role in helping launch many successful careers in mathematics.  He has personally supervised 48 Ph.D. candidates, whom he refers to as members of his “international family.” 

Dr. Hale was a principal speaker at this conference in 1995 and has participated in other professional meetings on this campus. 

Dr. Hale, we are delighted to welcome you back to Mississippi State and to present this plaque as a token of appreciation for your contributions to your discipline and of the esteem in which you are held by colleagues and former students around the world.

 [Present plaque.]