O. Carruth McGehee

Professor Emeritus

Department of Mathematics

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

Email address: mcgehee at math.lsu.edu

A brief biography

The content of the site is the author's responsibility.

Annotated Versions dated 3/2/10 of LSU's Personnel Policy Statements

Complex Analysis Textbook, Published in 2000

Remarks on the Littlewood Conjecture

University Grading Standards: Documents from 2002-2003

Brent Pendleton Smith (1949-2006)

Recipients to Date of the McGehee Award

Review of David Kammler's Book on Fourier Analysis

The 1991-92 Calculus&Mathematica Experiment

Various Mathematical Topics, like Rubik's Cube

Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold War

Selected Topics on the U.S. Supreme Court, other Federal Courts

U.S. Income Inequality, References and Readings

The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson

The official, authoritative versions of PS-36-T and
PS-36-NT are on the LSU website. These annotated versions, with their added
footnotes, remarks, indices, and commentary, are entirely and solely
the responsibility of Carruth McGehee. They are PS-36-T with Notes for Users and PS-36-NT with Notes for Users. These documents may be of some use at this time. However, changes have been made to the Policy Statements in question, and no attempt has been made to revise the annotated versions since March of 2010.

Here are links to the Table of Contents and
the Preface. If you have the second or later printing of the book,
please consult this list of corrections
and other emendations. If you have the first printing, here is
a further list of corrections.
If you find further errors in the book, or if you have questions or comments, please
let me hear from you at the email address mentioned above.

In 1993 I had the privilege to give a lecture
at a conference held at Orsay in honor of Professor Jean-Pierre Kahane.
In the talk, I undertook to describe the conceptual setting of the
LIttlewood Conjecture. It is deliberately sketchy but does include a
proof of the main result.

When I was Vice-President of the Faculty Senate, I sponsored a resolution on grading standards.
Here is the resolution as adopted,
together with pertinent references and my remarks to the Senate on the subject. In 2003 I wrote a
review of the very interesting book by Valen Johnson.
These two documents are of course dated; I should mention that although UNC Chapel Hill did not do much pursuant
to its discussions at that time, I understand that more recently it has adopted a policy whereby a student's
record shows the comparative context of his or her grades.

This award was established in my honor through a gracious and kind initiative of the LSU Faculty Senate under the presidency of Professor Claire Advokat. The LSU Foundation Endowment Agreement appears at this link. The award, which goes to a tenured Associate Professor in recognition of a specific work, will rotate among the areas of mathematics, natural sciences, and humanities and social sciences.

In 2009-2010, the
Carruth McGehee Award for Excellent Research by a Junior Faculty
Member in Mathematics, carrying a cash prize of $1200, went to Associate
Professor ** Milen Yakimov** for his paper,"Symplectic leaves of
complex reductive Poisson-Lie groups," which appeared in the Duke
Mathematics Journal. The paper is a milestone in Poisson-Lie groups, a
field that combines algebra, geometry, and mathematical physics. The
paper resolved a seventeen-year-old problem, impacted several fields of
mathematics, and introduced techniques and arguments that have become
standard. Originally from
Bulgaria, Milen Yakimov received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He has
been a Sloan Fellow, a Clay Liftoff Fellow, and a Kavli Fellow. Prior
to joining the LSU Mathematics Department, he held faculty positions at
Cornell University and at UC Santa Barbara. In accord with
the endowment agreement, the selection committee consisted of the
department chairs from Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology,
Biological Sciences, and History, with one additional member from
Mathematics. This year the committee consisted of Professors Larry
Smolinsky, chair, Michael Cherry, Robert Mathews, Marcia Newcomer,
Victor Stater, and James Oxley.

In 2011-2012, the Carruth McGehee Award for Excellent Research
by a Junior Faculty Member in the Humanities and Social Sciences,
carrying a cash prize of $1300, went to Associate Professor of
Communication Studies** Nathan Crick,** for his book

In 2013-2014, the Carruth McGehee Award for Excellent Research by a Junior Faculty Member in the Natural Sciences, carrying a cash award of $1400, went to Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Brent C. Christner, who came to LSU in 2007, for his work on the biology of ice nucleation. Several species of plant-associated bacteria have the capacity to freeze super-cooled water. These ice-nucleating bacteria catalyze freezing at relatively warm temperatures, and affect meteorological processes by inducing precipitation. The nucleation of super-cooled water in clouds initiates ice crystal formation, and when the crystals become large enough, the particles precipitate forming snow or rain. Brent's 2008 article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is considered a seminal contribution to this field of study, presenting the first large-scale experimental evidence of a direct link between atmospheric biogenic ice nuclei and Earth's hydrological cycle. His work on ice nucleation has been highlighted in Astrobiology Magazine, BBC Worldwide, Bloomberg News, Chemical and Engineering News, CBC Radio, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Discover Magazine (in which his research was one of the "Top 100 Stories of 2008"), Globe and Mail, La Presse, KDKA Radio, Live Science, Microbiology Today, Microscopy Today, National Geographic News, Nature, New Scientist, Science, Science Friday on NPR, Science Daily, Scientific American, The New York Times, The London Telegraph, and the Washington Post. In November of 2010 he was awarded the Charles C. Randall Lectureship by the South Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. LSU honored him as a "Rainmaker," and in 2011 he received the College of Science Research Award. Brent is currently the principal investigator on four grants: (1) An NSF Polar Programs grant to analyze the geomicrobiology of melt water in Greenland; (2) a NASA grant to study DNA repair under frozen conditions; (3) a NASA award entitled "MARSLIFE" which includes looking for microbes on high altitude balloons at the top of the atmosphere; and (4) an NSF award to sudy the geobiology of Antarctic subglacial environments beneath the Whillans Ice Streams.

On pages 5-7 of this PDF file
you will find my review that appeared in the MAA Monthly. You may
ignore pages 1-4, another book review that appeared in the same edition
of the Monthly.

Professor Neal Stoltzfus and I presented this paper at a conference held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the LSU calculus courses that we taught in our new computer lab using *Mathematica.*

Here is a five-page PDF file presenting a solution algorithm for Rubik's cube. I prepared this in 1997 when teaching Mathematics 2040, a "transition course" for mathematics majors to take between the calculus sequence and the more rigorous upper-division courses in algebra and analysis. Part of the course was devoted to beginning group theory. The transformation group of Rubik's cube provided interesting examples. The process of learning how to solve the cube also offered an object lesson in the need to read and write general and somewhat abstract statements. Nearly all the students learned to solve the cube in under seven minutes.

Here is a PDF file in which the properties of the exponential function are derived from its differential equation.

Consider a system of equations representable as **x' = Ax** when **A** is an
*n*-by-*n* matrix. Here is a one-page PDF file, explaining one method of finding
a fundamental matrix by hand.

Here is a brief note on differential
forms.

Brent was born on September 11, 1949, in Falfurrias, Texas, some sixty miles from the Mexican border. Brent attended high school in Williston, North Dakota, received his B.S. from Reed College in 1971, and did his graduate work at LSU. He worked first under Prof. Pasquale Porcelli. After Porcelli's death in 1972, Brent became a student of Carruth McGehee, and received his Ph.D. in 1977. His first academic jobs were at Kansas State University, the University of Kentucky, and Illinois State University. After his work on the Littlewood Conjecture (see above), he was awarded a Sloan Fellowship for 1982-1984 and took a tenure-track position at the California Institute of Technology. Later he held a research position at Bellcore. In 1989 he rejoined Kansas State University as a full professor, where he had three Ph.D. students.

Brent made other significant contributions to the study of the quantitative behavior of Fourier-Stieltjes transforms, and in recent years he worked on a variety of problems in analytic number theory. In much of his research he demonstrated a flair for ingenious combinatorial arguments. Brent was mathematically fearless, and devoted a great deal of effort to problems thought to be difficult, including the dichotomy problem of Fourier analysis. Some of those efforts bore fruit, and he did some very insightful work. He had a number of co-authors, and his Erdos number is one.

During summer months, Brent fished commercially for salmon in Alaska. A descendant, on his mother's side, of New England fishermen, and the son of an oil geologist, he was well acquainted with risk and chance.

Brent is survived by his son Garth Smith, of Ventura, California; his parents
Donna May and William Oliver Smith of Sun City, Arizona; his brother
Billy; and his sister Brenda Lam, of Raleigh, North Carolina. A regular lecture series
has been established, supported by contributions.

I gave a series of talks to my Sunday School class in early 2010 on this topic.
Here is the handout provided with
those talks. It includes a bibligraphy and a partial chronology.

I gave a series of talks in early 2011 on this topic. Here is the
handout provided with those talks.

In March of 2011 I gave two talks centered on the Slate essay by Timothy Noah. Here is the handout provided with those talks.

In September of 2011 I gave three talks on the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, based mainly on the 2009 biography by John Milton Cooper, Jr. Here is the handout for those talks. It includes a brief bibliography and a chronology.

OCM 1/7/2016