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05-10-2014

James Lynch Named Professor Emeritus at Clarkson University

Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science James F. Lynch was named professor emeritus at Clarkson University's 121st Commencement today. Lynch was honored for 37 years of exemplary service to the University.

James F. LynchLynch has been instrumental in developing Clarkson’s degree in computer science. In his early years at Clarkson, he was a leader of the computer science group within the Mathematics Department, and was regarded one of its most valuable members.

“When I arrived at Clarkson, they had a specialty in computer science within the math department but there was no separate degree in computer science,” he recalls. “After my second year, we hired another computer scientist, Jan Searleman, and the two of us put together a proposal to New York State to start a degree program. It was approved by the state and the program grew very quickly.”

While computers are ubiquitous on college campuses today, in 1983 Clarkson was the first school in the nation where all incoming students were supplied with a personal computer, Lynch notes.

“It was a Z100. They were like dinosaurs by the time the students graduated, but the University was certainly on the forefront in requiring students to use them. Now, students all come with their own when they enter college.”

Lynch was hired as an assistant professor at Clarkson in 1977, and was promoted to associate professor in 1981, then to professor in 1998. He has taught most of the computer science courses at Clarkson, and designed many of them, including Software Design and Development, Formal Methods for Program Development and Systems Biology.

Lynch's expertise has resulted in almost continuous NSF funding for 20 years from 1978 to 1998. His ground-breaking research in theoretical computer science combining logic and combinatorics has made him a leader in the field of finite model theory and systems biology over the last decade. His papers are recognized by the scientific community as significant and mathematically sophisticated pieces of work.

His retirement is already shaping up to be very busy as he continues his research on systems biology, which combines biology, mathematics, and computers to study complex biological systems such as biochemical reaction networks and ecosystems. He will travel to Europe this summer and is scheduled to run a meeting in Vienna.

James Lynch received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from MIT and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/jlynch.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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