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Topology Conference and William Jaco's 70th Birthday

June 4-6, 2010 a conference was held at OSU in honor of Regents and Grayce B. Kerr Professor William Jaco. Professor Jaco has been a major contributor to theory of three-manifolds. In addition Professor Jaco was head of the department of mathematics at OSU, 1982-1988, Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society, 1988-1995, and then returned to OSU as Kerr Professor.

The scientific program contained talks by leading researchers in this area of mathematics. On Friday morning Regents Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Peter Sherwood opened the conference, Topology and Geometry in Dimension Three: Triangulations, Invariants, and Geometric Structures, with a welcoming address.


On Saturday evening there was a banquet in honor of Professor Jaco. Dr. Brian Conrey, Director of AIM and former OSU faculty member and department head, surprised Professor Jaco with a mathematics genealogy. Dr. Conrey also acted as emcee for the program following the meal.

Several colleagues of Professor Jaco gave reminisces of graduate school days at the University of Wisconsin, working together at Rice University or being a Ph.D. student under Dr. Jaco's guidance. Dr. John Ewing who succeeded Dr. Jaco as Executive Director of the AMS gave a presentation by video and spoke about the changes and the progress that were made by the AMS under Dr. Jaco's leadership. In addition to his professional activities Dr. Jaco enjoys playing racquetball and three speakers commented on his competitiveness on the court. Many members of Dr. Jaco's family were present and his children spoke about their family life.



Robert Davermann talking about graduate student days
Pres. Burns Hargis, Prof. William Jaco, Dean Peter Sherwood, V.P. Gary Clark
Peter Shalen with JSJ entry from Wikipedia
John Hempel discussing Jaco's years at Rice
William Jaco inspecting memento
Robert Myers talks about being a Ph.D. student with Jaco as advisor
Peter Shalen, John Hempel, and Robert Davermann with Jaco's genealogy in background
Hyam Rubenstein discussing Jaco's visits to Australia
Eric Sedgewick, who was a postdoc, recalls working with Jaco

Near the end of the program Dr. Loretta Bartolini presented Professor Jaco with a memento in the shape of a tetrahedron containing normal disks. Normal surfaces made up of such disks have been fundamental objects in Professor Jaco's approach to studying three-manifolds.


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