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G.S. Boolos, L.W. Gelhar named to professorships

Professor George S. Boolos of the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and Professor Lynn W. Gelhar of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been selected to hold named professorships.

Dr. Boolos, internationally known for his writing, research and teaching in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, has been selected to hold the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professorship in Philosophy for a five-year term, which will begin in the fall.

Dr. Gelhar, recognized as a leading authority on groundwater hydrology, contaminant transport and stochastic (random) subsurface hydrology, has been selected to hold the William E. Leonhard Professorship for a five-year term which began in November.

The Rockefeller chair, established in 1983 by a gift from Mr. Rockefeller, is awarded to distinguished senior scholars in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Professor Boolos has been a member of the department since 1969.

The Leonhard chair was established in 1983 by Mr. Leonhard, who received the SM in electrical engineering from MIT in 1940. He is former chairman, president and chief executive of the Parsons Corp. of Pasadena, CA, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world

Provost Joel Moses, in announcing the appointments, referred to Professor Boolos's "contributions to the field and to MIT" and to Professor Gelhar's "outstanding research and teaching career."

Professor Boolos, one of the principal initiators of a new area of logical investigations, has written three books, all published by Cambridge University Press: The Logic of Provability (1993), The Unprovability of Consistency: An Essay in Modal Logic (1979) and, with Richard C. Jeffrey, Computability and Logic (1974).

He holds the AB degree in mathematics from Princeton (1961), the BPhil from the University of Oxford (1963) and the PhD in philosophy from MIT (1966). He joined the faculty after three years (1966-69) as an assistant professor of philosophy at Columbia University.

Professor Boolos is the current president of the Association for Symbolic Logic. He is also an editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Gelhar's research encompasses a broad range of basic and applied topics, including early fluid mechanics studies on turbulent and stratified flows. In 1982 he received the American Geophysical Union's Horton Award for his pioneering work in stochastic subsurface hydrology.

He is the author of a textbook, Stochastic Subsurface Hydrology (Prentice-Hall) and has written more than 125 technical publications.

Professor Gelhar holds the BS (1959), the MS (1960) and the PhD (1964) degrees in civil engineering, all from the University of Wisconsin.

He was a member of the MIT faculty from 1964-1973, then taught at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology before returning to MIT in 1982 with the rank of professor. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has been a member of the National Research Council's Geophysics Study Committee since 1988.

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