Robin Thomas Earns Distinction, Named Regents' Professor


School of Mathematics Regents' Professor Robin Thomas

June 23, 2010

In granting him the title of Regents’ Professor, the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents have added School of Mathematics Professor Robin Thomas to its list of the state’s premier educators. Faculty promoted to the rank of Regents’ Professor are recognized as the University System’s intellectual and educational leaders.

Thomas, who joined Georgia Tech in 1989, specializes in the fields of graph theory and combinatorics, areas of mathematics with applications across a wide domain, from computer science and engineering to biology, economics, and social science. He also directs the interdisciplinary program in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO), a joint effort of the College of Computing, the School of Mathematics, and the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

“Robin has produced the sort of deep scholarship with important implications for science and technology that characterizes the work of our best faculty,” said Doug Ulmer, chair of the School of Mathematics.

As evidence of a sustained career of groundbreaking work, Thomas and his collaborators have been awarded the Fulkerson Prize of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Programming Society twice, in 1994 and in 2009. This prize, the most prestigious in discrete mathematics, is awarded every three years. Thomas and his collaborators are the only multiple recipients of this prestigious prize.

“Robin is a first rate mathematician, a talented educator, and an immensely valuable colleague,” Ulmer said. “His presence at Tech is a huge asset, and this Regents' Professorship is an entirely appropriate way to honor his accomplishments.”

Each academic year, the vice provost for Academic Affairs solicits the six college deans for Regents’ Professorship candidates. Deans typically will submit one or two candidates, who must be full professors, for consideration. A selection committee, then makes its recommendation for candidates, which in turn are approved by the vice provost, the provost and the president.

"I am very happy to receive this honor, but I should also stress the role of the great work environment here at Tech," Thomas said. "I would not have been able to accomplish nearly as much if not for the excellent colleagues, collaborators, postdocs, students and staff members that I have had the privilege to work with over the years. I am indebted to them for helping me achieve this honor, and hope to repay them by being a valuable colleague, collaborator, mentor and teacher."