Established in 1986 by the University in memory of J.J. Sylvester

Image Credit: Ferdinand Hamburger Jr. Archives, Johns Hopkins University, Milton S. Eisenhower Library As the Hopkins trustees debated their first steps in establishing a world-class university, President Daniel Coit Gilman commented: "Enlist a great mathematician and a distinguished Grecian. Your problem will be solved." JAMES JOSEPH SYLVESTER, one of the foremost of British mathematicians and author of the groundbreaking theory of invariants, was soon recruited, joining Professor of Greek Basil L. Gildersleeve. While he stayed at Hopkins only seven years, Professor Sylvester had a profound effect on academia in America, having introduced the study of the higher branches of pure mathematics.


JOEL SPRUCK, the J.J. Sylvester Professor of Mathematics, earned his PhD in 1971 from Stanford. He joined the Mathematics Department at Johns Hopkins in 1992 and served as chair from 1996-1999. He is a world expert in nonlinear analysis and has worked extensively on nonlinear elliptic equations with applications to geometry, free boundary problems and mathematical physics. With David Hoffman, he created the Center for Geometry, Analysis, Numerics and Graphics (GANG), a unique laboratory for the numerical and graphical simulation of multi-disciplinary problems. Dr. Spruck is a winner of the Institut Henri Poincare’ Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Simons Foundation Fellowship.