PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Donald McClure, longtime professor of applied mathematics at Brown University, has been named executive director of the American Mathematical Society, the organization announced on Monday.
McClure succeeds John H. Ewing, who has held the post for the last 13 years. In naming McClure, the AMS cited his research accomplishments, experience in both business and academic administration, and extensive knowledge of issues facing the mathematics profession.
As executive director, McClure will oversee the AMS’s 210-person staff and the organization’s operations. He also will ensure that the Society maintains its strong position as a major publisher of mathematical books and journals, including Mathematical Reviews, and maintains its roles as organizer of numerous meetings and conferences each year and as a leading provider of professional services and electronic information in the mathematical sciences.
“I am really excited about the new position,” McClure said. “My responsibilities and efforts will be guided by the Society’s mission to further mathematics research and scholarship. The AMS has a very positive impact on mathematics worldwide. I look forward to working with the staff and leadership to continue and expand the AMS contributions.”
“Don has served the Society for much of the past 13 years, first as an elected member of the board and then as associate treasurer,” Ewing said. “He knows the AMS extremely well. I can’t imagine any circumstances that would better guarantee a smooth transition from one executive director to the next. He is superbly qualified to lead the Society in the coming years. I am both grateful and proud that someone of Don’s caliber wants to take on the job.”
McClure earned his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown and joined the faculty in 1969. He was promoted to professor in 1982. His research concerns the formulation of probabilistic models for images and the design of algorithms based on those models and classical statistical principles. The research is motivated by the areas of image processing and computer vision, ill-posed inverse problems and analysis of image sequences such as those occurring in film or progressive video. In the area of ill-posed inverse problems, McClure and his Brown applied math colleague Stuart Geman were the first to propose and analyze Bayesian methods for computed tomography. There is now a vast literature in this area.
Paul Dupuis, chair of the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown, said he was “proud that one of our members is running the largest, most prestigious, and most influential mathematics organization in the country.”
McClure was elected to the AMS Board of Trustees in 1995 and served on the board until 2000. His service included stints as chair of the board and as liaison to the AMS Publications Division. From 2003 until his appointment as executive director, McClure was AMS associate treasurer. Through service on the board and as associate treasurer, he has come to understand many of the practical aspects of running the AMS and has a sense of the scope of its programs and publishing business.
“Don is well known and highly regarded by the AMS community,” said AMS President James Glimm, distinguished professor of applied mathematics and statistics at Stony Brook University. “He brings to AMS a level of experience with the broader world of science, technology, and business that will help our organization.”
The AMS was founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship and to foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life. The Society has more than 32,000 individual members and 550 institutional members in the United States and around the world. Based in Providence, R.I., it also has offices in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Washington D.C.