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Clark Atlanta University (CAU) Professor Lauded In New Publication For Contributions To Mathematics Field

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  • Date: 8/28/2014
  • Author: Office of Marketing and Communications
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ATLANTA (Aug. 28, 2014) — Ronald E. Mickens, Ph.D., Distinguished Callaway Professor of Physics at Clark Atlanta University (CAU), has been honored for the occasion of his 70th birthday by the publication of a research monogram, “Mathematics of Continuous and Discrete Dynamical Systems,” Volume 618 in the Contemporary Mathematics Series from the American Mathematical Society (July 2014).  The volume comprises a series of papers inspired by Mickens’ research or extensions thereof.

Mickens, who turned 70 in 2013, has made numerous, stellar contributions in the mathematical sciences, particularly in the areas of computational mathematics and nonlinear oscillations.  The volume is a collection of 15 papers, some containing new results and methods, as well as a collection of open problems to shape the direction of future work in these areas.  The papers were presented in two American Mathematical Society (AMS) symposia convened in January 2013 to celebrate Mickens’ birthday.

Of this honor, Mickens said, “Research is done not only for its aesthetic and intellectual significance, but also for its intrinsic value to others in their work.  This book illustrates the impact of one of my research activities, and I thank my colleagues and friends who have used and generalized my results.  I am honored and humbled by this gesture, an affirmation of my life’s work.”

Ronald Elbert Mickens received the bachelor’s degree in physics from Fisk University (1964) and a Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics from Vanderbilt University (1968).  He held post-doctoral positions at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics (1968–1970), Vanderbilt University (1980–1981) and the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (1981–1982).  He was professor of physics at Fisk University from 1970–1981.

 Mickens began his tenure at CAU’s parent institution Atlanta University in 1982.  His research includes nonlinear oscillations, asymptotic methods for difference and differential equations, numerical integration of differential equations, the mathematical modeling of periodic diseases, and the history/sociology of African-Americans in science.

Mickens has published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific/mathematical research articles and written and/or edited 15 books.  He serves on editorial boards of several research journals, including the Journal of Difference Equations and Applications and the International Journal of Evolution Equations.  His scholarly writings have appeared in reference works such as African American Lives (Oxford University Press), American National Biography (Oxford University Press), and Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists (Marshall Cavendish).

His honors include fellowships from the Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and National Science Foundations and election to Phi Beta Kappa (1964).  During 1998–1999, he was an American Physical Society (APS) Centennial speaker (as part of the activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the APS).  He also served as a distinguished national lecturer for Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society for 2000–2002.

  His professional memberships include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society (for which he is an elected Fellow), the History of Science Society, the Society for Mathematical Biology, and the American Mathematical Society.

A multi-hour interview with professor Mickens is posted at the website: http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/Ronald-n.  This interview covers a variety of issues related to his family life, career and scientific contributions.  The Amistad Research Center and Tulane University house a large collection of his personal and scientific correspondence.