IMI Interdisciplinary Mathematics InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences

Devore Honorary Degree


DeVore receives Honorary Doctorate of Science from USC

During the August 2015 commencement ceremony, the university conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Science to Ronald A. DeVore, a faculty member in the Mathematics Department. Professor DeVore is currently the Robert L. Sumwalt Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and former director of the IMI.

Ron's citation by the Board of Trustees reads in part,

"is credited with expanding the academic reputation of the university’s Department of Mathematics over three decades. ... During his 28 years at the university, Mr. DeVore played an instrumental role in converting the mathematics department from one with no external research support to one of the top 10 funded programs in the United States. This was accomplished largely through his efforts in encouraging younger faculty to develop research programs and compete for external research awards...

For his seminal work in the field of applied mathematics; for his dedication to mathematics research and professional development of fellow mathematics faculty; and for his commitment to the ideals of higher education; the University of South Carolina, with the approval of its Board of Trustees, now presents Ronald Alvin DeVore for the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.."

Among his previous awards are

  • Plenary Speaker, International Congress of Mathematicians, Madrid (2006)
  • Honorary Doctorate, RWTH-Aachen (2004)
  • Elected 2001 to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Elected 2007 to Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Gold Medal La Fondation Sciences Mathématiques de Paris (2011)
  • Bulgarian Gold Medal of Science (2001)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (2002
  • Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (2012)
  • International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Wavelet Pioneer Award (2007)
  • Journal of Complexity Outstanding Paper Award (2000)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975-1976)
  • NDEA Fellow (1964-1967)

Professor DeVore received a BSc from Eastern Michigan University while supported on a track scholarship (1961-1964) and earned his PhD from Ohio State University (1964-1967) in Approximation Theory under the direction of Ranko Bojanic. He began his teaching career at Oakland University in 1968, and joined the mathematics faculty at the University of South Carolina in 1977, serving as the Robert L. Sumwalt Professor of Mathematics from 1986 until his retirement from USC in 2005.

Professor DeVore has been active in development of many areas of pure, applied, and computational mathematics, including approximation theory, functional analysis, constructive analysis, numerical analysis of partial differential equations, machine learning algorithms, wavelet transforms, stochastic differential equations, complexity and statistics. His work has influenced such diverse fields as digital imaging and signal processing, autonomous navigation of robotic vehicles, target identification and tracking, compressive sensing, medical imaging and automatic numeric control of dynamic equations used in simulation and analysis of physical processes. He is the author of 3 monographs and 170 research publications, has served as an editor for 9 journals, has co-organized over 25 international conferences, and is a popular speaker with over 200 colloquia and 100 invited conference talks. He has delivered Invited Plenary Addresses to the American Mathematics Society, SIAM, Canadian Mathematical Society, Foundation of Computational Mathematics, and the International Congress of Mathematicians. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (1971-present), as well as by the Department of Energy and Department of Defense (Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Office, DARPA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency).

After retiring from Carolina in 2005, Ron was a visiting faculty member at Rice University (Texas Instruments Chair in Electrical Engineering, 2005-2006), Courant Institute of New York University (2006-2007) and was awarded the Fondation Sciences Mathmatiques de Paris Chair (2009-2011). Since 2008, he has been Walter E. Koss Professor at Texas A&M University and was named Distinguished Professor at that institution in 2010. Previously Dr. DeVore held visiting professorships at universities in North America (Ohio State, Univ. Alberta, Univ. Wisconsin, Princeton, Maryland, Texas A&M, Purdue) and Europe, including Germany (Erlangen, Bonn, Aachen), Italy (Pisa), Spain (Basque Center), and France (Paris VI).

In service to the University, Professor DeVore was the University's Faculty Representative to the State EPSCoR Committee from its inception in 1978 until 1994. He was instrumental in promoting multiagency EPSCoR infrastructure programs to build the Department's research competitiveness during his tenure, from the University's first NSF EPSCoR award in Discrete Mathematics in 1979 until the award of the Industrial Mathematics Initiative in 1992. He subsequently founded and directed IMI from 1999 to 2005, and continues to collaborate with its research faculty.

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