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Two SAS Professors to Endowed Chairs
May 22, 2007, Volume 53, No. 34

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

David Harbater

Dr. David Harbater has been named the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Harbater focuses on algebraic geometry and number theory in his research, particularly the area of Galois theory. His work involves the study of symmetry, which has applications in many fields, including physics, chemistry, and cryptography, among others. In 1995 he received the prestigious Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra from the American Mathematical Society, awarded approximately once every five years. Dr. Harbater was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1995, and has received fellowships from the American Mathematical Society, the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In the spring, he will visit Tel Aviv University to give a series of lectures on his research as their 2007 Sackler Lecturer. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This chair is one of five Browne Distinguished Professorships created by a $10 million gift from Christopher Browne, C ’69, to recognize faculty members who have achieved an extraordinary reputation for scholarly contributions and who have demonstrated great distinction in teaching and intellectual integrity. Mr. Browne, a Penn Trustee since 1991, has served on the School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers since 1982, and became chair in 1999. He also chairs the University Committee on Undergraduate Financial Aid and serves on the Penn Alumni Board of Directors.

Class of 1965 Term Professor

Jamal Elias

Dr. Jamal J. Elias has been named the Class of 1965 Term Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Elias, who comes to Penn from Amherst College, is a member of the department of religious studies, where he also serves as the undergraduate chair, and is a 2006-2007 Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Fellow. He specializes primarily in Sufi thought in Iran, Turkey, Central and South Asia. He is the author of three books and co-author of another, and is working on two new ones: On Wings of Diesel examines truck decoration in Pakistan, and the tentatively-titled A’isha’s Pillow: Religious Art and Perception in Islam focuses on issues of art and the phenomenology of perception in Islamic contexts. Dr. Elias has been awarded fellowships from the Council of the American Overseas Research Centers and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

This chair is one of five created in 1990 by the Class of 1965. This 25th Reunion class gift funded a chair for each of the four undergraduate schools and one in honor of the College for Women.



Almanac - May 22, 2007, Volume 53, No. 34