Harold J. Gay Professorship in Mathematics

This professorship was established in 1968 through a bequest from Hazel M. Gay, widow of Harold J. Gay, who had been a professor of mathematics at WPI. It was initially a special three-year professorship intended to encourage younger faculty members who had demonstrated potential for achievement that might suitably honor Gay’s memory. Gay joined the WPI faculty in 1919, the year he graduated cum laude from Harvard College. He earned a master’s degree from Clark University in 1922. He was deeply concerned about providing his students with a rigorous education that was also relevant. His daily quizzes, which he called “questions for credit,” became a well-loved tradition at WPI. He and Hazel played an active role in campus life, and his delightful sense of humor was on frequent display at athletics events and parties. Gay continued to teach until his untimely death in 1947 at the age of 49. Today, the WPI Mathematical Sciences Department honors Gay’s memory with a lecture series that brings to campus some of the top scholars in the field.

Current Recipient: Umberto Mosco

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Last modified: February 27, 2008 12:26:02