The Department of Mathematics is pleased to announce that Ken Fine and Rebecca Canary have established an endowment to support semester-long visits of distinguished mathematicians to our department. These mathematicians will be known as the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Visiting Professor in Mathematics in honor of Professor Trjitzinsky, who was Ken's PhD thesis advisor. These visitors will be sharing their expertise with faculty and students while they are in residence at Illinois.
The department established a visitors program in Spring 2017, thanks to the generosity of our alumni. We had been seeking stable funding since then so that the program could continue indefinitely. This new endowment is just what we were looking for. Our department can look forward to becoming a destination for distinguished faculty from around the world.
Professor Trjitzinsky earned his undergraduate degree at the California Institute of Technology and his MS and PhD degrees at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the mathematics faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1934, where he remained until his retirement in 1969. During his tenure at Illinois, Professor Trjitzinsky supervised 51 PhD students. He was a highly respected mathematician, dedicated to the advancement of mathematics and educating future mathematicians. He financially helped students during his lifetime, and part of his estate funded the American Mathematical Society’s Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Awards program, which provides scholarships to undergraduate mathematics students nationwide.
Ken Fine was born in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his BS, MS and PhD degrees at Illinois, all in mathematics, in 1963, 1965, and 1967, respectively. Dr. Fine began his career in the computer industry, ultimately specializing in semiconductors. He retired in 1994 as a Vice President of Intel Corporation but came out of retirement in 1995 to be President/CEO of Vivid Semiconductor Corporation, from which he permanently retired in 1997.
Rebecca Canary was born on Long Island, New York, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. The majority of her professional career was in technical recruiting at Intel Corporation, where she and Ken met. They married in 1990 and now live on a ranch in rural Texas.
In addition to being part-time ranch hands, Rebecca is an artist, and Ken is a woodworker.
In order to make a contribution to the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Visiting Professor in Mathematics Fund, please navigate to math.illinois.edu/giving/faculty. We hope that both those who had the privilege of knowing Professor Trjitzinsky, and those who did not, will recognize the value of our ongoing visitors program. New faces and new ideas further enrich the vibrant intellectual culture of our department. Please join us in supporting this worthwhile initiative.