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John Troutman


John Troutman earned a B.S. in mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1954, an M.S. in applied mechanics there in 1957, and the degree of Engineer in engineering mechanics at Stanford in 1960, while he was a research scientist with NASA in 1954-1960. After a postgraduate year at the ETH in Zürich, he earned an M.S. in 1963 and a Ph.D. in 1964 at Stanford in complex analysis under Menahem Schiffer. From 1964 to 1966 he was an assistant professor at San Jose State College, where he directed 7 master's theses, and was also a research specialist in gas dynamics at Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation. He was a J. W. Young Instructor at Dartmouth College from 1966 to 1968, and then arrived at SU, where he was promoted to professor in 1983. In 1971-1972 he was a visiting professor at Universität Ulm.

His recent research interests include linear PDEs and boundary value problems, and variational calculus and optimal control. John wrote 12 research papers in these areas and textbooks reflecting his pedagogical commitment. In 1983 Springer published Variational calculus with elementary convexity in its UTM series (364 pp.), and then in 1996 published a 100-page extension entitled Variational calculus and optimal control with elementary convexity (470 pp.). In 1994 PWS published Boundary value problems of applied mathematics (480 pp.) They were developed for applied mathematics courses at SU and have been the featured texts in these courses since publication. He directed three Ph.D. students at SU: Artin Boghossian (1975), Earl Charles Burt (1982), and Michael Enos (1990).

In the College of Arts and Sciences he served on the selected studies committee 1969-1971, curriculum committee during the formation of the standard plan 1977-1979, academic standards committee 1979-1980, academic committee 1981-1983, promotions committee 1984-1987 and research leave committee 1990-1991; and in the University he was on the board of graduate studies 1988-1991 and the fellowship committee 1990-1994. In the Department he served on the graduate committee 1972-1976 and 1984-1987, as chair 1985-1986. Then John undertook the newly created position of Associate Chairman of the Graduate Program 1988-1994, during Dan Waterman's two three-year terms as department chair, and did an excellent job! He also served on the undergraduate committee 1976-1978, the executive committee 1979-1981, and five reappointment or promotion committees. In addition, he was on the building committee in 1972-1973 (to plan the move from Smith Hall to Carnegie), IOR liaison committee 1974-1977, and the committee for selection of a calculus text 1984.

John retired in 2000, spending the last academic year on leave. His wife Pat (Patricia Brookes) had received her Ph.D. in humanities from SU and has taught art history for over 20 years at Onondaga Community College, the last 6 years as chair of the Art department there. She also retired in 1999, but she continues to teach part-time there. They live in their beautifully remodeled home in a scenic wonderland in Tully beside Labrador Pond. John enjoys his enormous collection of classical LPs. They travel extensively — they have just been to Scotland and to China, Tibet and Bali, and last year went to Egypt and Jordan — and spend time with Pat's daughters and their families.

Source: His January 1995 curriculum vitae; my recollections; and short phone interviews on 5/27/02 with Pat and on 5/30/02 and 8/15/02 with John. Phil Church 5/30/02 and 8/15/02