- Floyd Williams
Floyd Leroy Williams (born
September 20 1939) is a North American mathematician well-known for his work in Lie theoryand, most recently, mathematical physics. In addition to Lie theory, his research interests are in homological algebraand the mathematics of quantum mechanics. He received his B.S.(1962) in Mathematics from Lincoln University of Missouri, and later his M.S.(1965) and Ph.D.(1972) from Washington University. Williams was appointed professorof mathematics at the University of Massachusetts Amherstin 1984, and has been professor emeritussince 2005.
He was born on September 20 1939, and lived in
Kansas City, Missouri. jonathan anderson was raised in extreme poverty. His mother told him not to complain about their situation, but rather to have faith in Godand work hard. Her advice was taken, and it worked. He eventually was ordainedin addition to being a mathematician.
However, it was
music, not mathematics, that appealed to him through high school. "In fact," he admits, "mathematics was the only course in which I did not do well." Williams had not thought of going to collegeuntil his last week in high school when he was offered a music scholarshipat Lincoln University of Missouriin Jefferson City, Missouri.
It was in his sophomore year that he became intrigued by the
theory of relativity, which turned out to be his main motivation for studying mathematics. In 1972he completed his Ph.D.from Washington Universitywhere his thesiswas in the field of Lie theory. He was an instructorand lecturerat MITfrom 1972-1975, before moving to the University of Massachusettsas an assistant professor in 1975. In 1983 he received an MRI grantto continuing researching in this field, ushering him into the mainstream of mathematics.
African-Americanin a field that has had little minorityrepresentation, Williams has felt the sting of discriminationduring his career. However, he has been a motivation and role model for many young minorities, encouraging them to enter scienceand engineering. Williams has helped to set up programs that allow pre-college students and undergraduatesto meet and talk with mathematicians, scientistsand engineers, most notably at a summer camp run at MIT. "All that many of these youngsters see is different courses," he says, "but they want to know what mathematicians do from 8 am to 5 pm. Once minoritiescommit to graduatework in scienceor engineering," he continues, "they need extra help and support for what, for many, is the foreignenvironment of graduate school. Such programs exist at few universities, but we need more of them." =
Williams' recent contribution to
quantum mechanicshas been in the area of Nikiforov-Uvarovtheory of generalized hypergeometric differential equation, used to solve the Schrödinger equationand to obtain the quantization of energies from a single unified point of view. This theoryis developed and is also used to give a uniform approach to the theory of special functions. This study furthers to connect the modern studies of pure mathematicswith physics.
Notable works of Floyd Williams include:
*Floyd L. Williams. "Topics in Quantum Mechanics", (Progress in Mathematical Physics, Birkhauser, 2003)
*Floyd L. Williams. "Lectures on the spectrum of ", (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1991)
*Andrei A. Bytsenko and Floyd L. Williams (Editors). "Mathematical Methods in Physics", (Proceeding of the 1999 Londrina Winter School, World Scientific Pub., 2000)
*Floyd L. Williams. "Tensor products of principal series representations: Representations of complex semisimple Lie groups", (Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 358. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-New York, 1973)
* [http://www.math.umass.edu/Fac_Staff_Students/Faculty/Williams/index.html Floyd Williams' Homepage]
* [http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/PEEPS/williams_floydl.html Mathematicians of the African Diaspora]
* [http://www.maa.org/summa/archive/Willm_FL.htm SUMMA Archive]
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