URI mathematician cited by scholars worldwide

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KINGSTON, R.I. — November 20, 2007 — Born on the small Greek island Kefalonia, Gerasimos “Gerry” Ladas is one of the most cited mathematicians in the world.

Ladas joined the University of Rhode Island’s Mathematics Department in 1969 and at the present time his area of expertise is difference equations. He is co-editor-in-chief of the academic Journal of Difference Equations and Applications. “URI is the home of the journal,” he proudly emphasizes. He is also the associate editor of 13 other mathematics journals.

Ladas name and biography will be added to Thomson Scientifics’ ISIHighlyCited.com, which honors researchers in 21 broad categories whose publications have received the highest number of citations worldwide.

His inclusion means that Ladas is among the 337 most cited mathematicians during the past 25 years. When one researcher cites another’s work, he or she is acknowledging the relevance of that work to his or her own study.

This semester, Ladas is on a sabbatical at Harvard University School of Public Health, where he is consulting on biological mathematical models. This is his third such sabbatical at Harvard.

During his sabbatical, Ladas will also give invited lectures in Turkey, Thailand, Greece, and Portugal. His talks are always heavily attended.

The URI mathematician focuses on the basic theory of difference equations so that other scientists can use his findings in a variety of applications. Difference equations, the professor explains, are about predicting the future state of a system in terms of the present and the past.

Ladas joins seven of his URI colleagues on the most-cited list: Psychologists Jim Prochaska, Joe Rossi, and Wayne Velicer; geoscientist Jean-Guy Schilling, plant and animal scientist Jeff Seemann, dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences; the late plant and animal scientist John Sieburth and electrical engineer Stephen Kay.

Ladas is one of only three professors who have received the URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award and the URI Foundation Scholarly Excellence Award.

The mathematician has co-authored three undergraduate textbooks, six monographs, and more than 240 research papers.

He is a referee for numerous journals and mathematics research proposals for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Research Office, Research Corporation, and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

In addition to his work at URI, the professor is a long distance runner who has competed a dozen times in the Boston Marathon, three times in the New York City Marathon, once in the Marathon of Montreal and the Paris Marathon. He also has twice run the Rhode Island Nifty-Fifty, twice crossing Rhode Island and has participated in a 24-hour run.

Today it is not unusual to see the 70-year-old running 15 miles from his home in Kingston to Scarborough Beach and back. He likes to take it slow and easy, greeting people as he goes.

Ladas and his wife often return to the Greek island where he grew up, often entertaining his colleagues from the URI community and throughout the world.

URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography