Art by Zack Treisman
Vic Klee and Ernie Michael celebrate 50 years at the UW
Ernie Michael and Vic Klee
Vic Klee and Ernie Michael arrived in the UW math department fifty years ago, in September 1953. To commemorate this, Professor Emeritus Ron Pyke has written a poem, included below. See also this web page, to see some campus photos taken by Ron Pyke from 1953 to 1956; these illustrate some of the ways the campus has changed in the past fifty years.
Vic received his PhD in 1949 from the University of Virginia; his advisor was Edward McShane, and his thesis was called ``Convex Sets in Linear Spaces.'' Ernie received his PhD in 1951 from the University of Chicago; his advisor was Irving Segal, and his thesis was on ``Locally m-Convex Algebras.''
Between them, Vic and Ernie have published over 300 books and papers. Under their supervision, more than 35 University of Washington graduate students have received PhDs. They have taught countless undergraduates.
When they arrived in September 1953, the department's faculty numbered around 25. The UW had 813 faculty overall that year, and 13,048 students began classes that Fall. Total tuition and fees were $55 per quarter per resident student, and the average salary for assistant professors was $5,000. In 1953, the Math Department was housed in the south half of the Math-Physics Building (now Mary Gates Hall). Parking was available outside the building. Trains still came on campus bringing coal to the Power Plant. Red Square was then green.
An Ode for Two Friends
For Vic and Ernie at the faculty gathering 9/28/03