WAAAUB Holds First Ever International Convention: Commitment to AUB and Enhancing Ties among Alumni  
AUBMC Receives US Accreditation
Seven New Members to Join the AUB Board of Trustees
Establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematical Sciences at AUB
AUB Nutrition and Food Science Department Named as WHO Collaborating Center
Academic Excellence Rewarded: AUB's Merit Scholarships
AUB Announces New Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service
Shahe Kazarian's - Reflections of My I (Published by Cadmus Project: 2007)
Faculty Profile: Patrick Lewtas
Professor Mrad Lectures Abroad
Staff Profile: Ramzieh Saad
Essay Competition Honors Arab World's 'Prince of Poets'
Donald Mitchell Examines Control Over City Streets
The Political Consequences of American Romanticism
Juan Cole Points at Failures in United States
Scholar Studies Impact of Terrorism on American Imports
Ambassador Evaluates Role of United Kingdom in the Arab World
A View of Islam in the Eighth Century
The Need for Dialogue Between Religions
Istanbul's Pleasures Revealed
National Identity Without Citizenship?
On-line Workshops Help Train Journalists
Student Artwork Exhibited at Jafet Library
Amulets and Talismans at the AUB Museum
Living with Animals: To Prevent Torture and the Impact of War
Women's Auxiliary Holiday Luncheon
Home of Hope Orphans Tour AUB Medical Center
Italian Opera Recital at Assembly Hall
Strengthening Ukraine and Lebanese Relations with Music
AUB Music Club Concert
From Sufi Chant to Oriental Jazz
AUB Choir and Choral Society Celebrate Christmas
Benefit Christmas Concerts Help Ayadina Center
Red Cross Club Forms Human Ribbon
January 2008 Vol. 9 No. 4


Establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in
Mathematical Sciences at AUB

Sir Michael Atiyah

The American University of Beirut is proud to announce the establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematical Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which was made possible by a $2 million pledge by the Simons Foundation. Dr. James H. Simons and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Hawrys Simons, who is president of the Simons Foundation, have been involved in education for many years as teachers, administrators, and philanthropists.

In announcing the gift the Simons spoke of their strong personal friendship and deep respect for Sir Michael: "We are delighted to be associated with the establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematical Sciences at AUB. Sir Michael is a good friend and someone we have admired for many years. He has played an important and critical role in the University's efforts to reestablish itself as a research University. The Michael Atiyah Chair will enable the University to attract top researchers and professors who will provide unparalleled educational opportunities for students at AUB."

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Khalil Bitar noted that the gift will bring new possibilities to the study of mathematics at AUB: "The recent surge in the use of mathematical techniques via computer simulations in fields that traditionally have not made use of mathematical analysis and or mathematical modeling will be greatly enhanced with leadership in this chair in the mathematical sciences."

The chair is being named for one of AUB's Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences (CAMS) strongest supporters: Sir Michael Atiyah, who has been described as one of the greatest living mathematicians of the 20th century. With Isadore Singer, he received the second Abel Prize (a prize that is widely recognized as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize) in 2004 for the Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem-an achievement that the Norwegian Academy of Science hailed as "one of the great landmarks of 20th century mathematics." He was president of the Royal Society from 1990-95. He has received numerous honors throughout a long and particularly distinguished career including a Fields Medal in 1966, the Feltrinelli Prize in 1981, the King Faisal International Prize for Science in 1987, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 1993. Sir Michael is the chair of the CAMS distinguished International Advisory Committee, which counsels the president and the director of CAMS on scientific policy and programs, a position he has held since the center was founded in 1999. The holder of the Michael Atiyah Chair will be a senior member of CAMS and will play a key role in leading the work of the center.

On several occasions, Sir Michael has spoken eloquently and passionately about the importance of mathematics. As the commencement speaker in 2001, he described mathematics as "an essential component of our world. In all the sciences, physical, biological or social, mathematics is increasingly important, and in recent years the business and financial community has also woken up to this fact." When he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2004, he described himself as "a firm believer in the fundamental and central role that mathematics plays in our modern technological society, where it underpins everything from science and engineering to finance and economics."

James and Marilyn Simons hope that their gift will help the University excel in both academic research and outstanding pedagogy: "For many years AUB has been a beacon of scholarship and tolerance in an embattled part of the world. We are pleased to think that our contribution will help and strengthen the University in continuing to fulfill this important mission."