W. C. Holland

W. C. Holland Honored as Distinguished Research Professor

Dr. W. Charles Holland, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been named a Distinguished Research Professor by the University's Board of Trustees. Holland, whose name is known among mathematicians around the world, was given the title during the trustees' June 25, 1993 meeting. The honor is one of the highest awarded by the University to a faculty member.

The mathematician is only the fifth individual to receive the title, which recognizes a professor's national and international acclaim for academic accomplishments through research and publications. Others who are Distinguished Research Professors include Dr. Gary Hess, a professor of history and expert on U. S.-Southeast Asian relations; Dr. Douglas Neckers, chair of the chemistry department and executive director of the Center for Photochemical Research; Dr. Jaak Panksepp, a psychology professor who is known for his expertise in psychobiology; and Philip F. O'Connor, a best-selling novelist and retired director of the University's creative writing program.

Holland is recognized as a world leader in his specialty within the field of mathematics, the highly technical study of ordered groups. Not only do some of his colleagues rank him among the best mathematicians in the United States, but they also say he is among the most gifted mathematicians in the world. Noted one who supported his nomination for the post, "His insight and stimulation have made Bowling Green the Mecca for all research workers in the field."

Holland is credited with developing a theory early in his career that proved to be the key to understanding general infinite ordered groups. Although at first doubted by experts, his results provided the tool that made a deep analysis of lattice-ordered groups possible, according to Dr. A. W. M. Glass, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. As his work in the field continued, Holland later founded a mathematical school, "l'equipe americaine".

Holland came to Bowling Green in 1972 to help start the University's doctoral program in mathematics. According to his colleagues, so great has his influence been in the study of ordered groups that half of the researchers in the subject are his students or former students.

He has published nearly 50 articles in mathematical journals in the United States and abroad and has been invited to speak at universities in Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the United States as well as in the former Soviet Union. In 1984, the Bowling Green mathematician was named an honorary fellow of the Societe Francaise de l'Algebre Orderee, an international mathematics organization.

Holland is also a member of the Logarhythms, a quartet of Bowling Green mathematics professors who entertain groups with comic songs about math.

Monitor, July 5, 1993