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University Commencement exercises set for December 18, 19

By Julie Kane

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 14 - December 3, 1998

The Graduate School Commencement Ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Cassell Coliseum. Master's degrees, certificates of study (CAGS) and doctoral degrees will be conferred at this ceremony.
The graduation address will be made by University Distinguished Professor John J. Tyson, a pioneer in the use of mathematical modeling to study the control of cell division. His contributions to the field of mathematical biology have been recognized since his graduate studies at the University of Chicago in the early 1970s, where he was trained in chemical physics under the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Since 1975, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health have funded his research nearly continuously.
Tyson joined the biology department at Virginia Tech in 1977. In 1996, he was named a university distinguished professor. Other awards include the Bellman Prize for Mathematical Biosciences in 1989, and the Alumni Award for Research Excellence from Tech in 1992.
During his tenure at Tech, he has been invited to lecture at more than 50 professional meetings and 80 universities around the world. His ability to span the disciplines of mathematics, biology, and chemistry has resulted in many frequently cited papers and book chapters.
Tyson served two years as president of the Society for Mathematical Biology, and in 1995 he was appointed co-chief editor of the Journal of Theoretical Biology. He is a regular referee for the National Science Foundation and for such publications as Science, Nature, and the Journal of Chemical Physics.
A reception for master's, CAGS, and doctoral candidates and their guests will be held in the ambulatory of Cassell Coliseum after the ceremony. For more information about the graduate ceremony, call the Graduate School at 1-9558.
The undergraduate ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, in Cassell Coliseum. Associate and bachelor degrees will be conferred at the undergraduate ceremony. There will be no individual college or department ceremonies.
The commencement speaker for the undergraduate program will be Professor James R. Craig. He came to Tech in 1970 to join the Department of Geological Sciences, where he served as head of the department from 1990 to 1994. He earned his bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania and both his master's and doctoral degrees from Lehigh University. Before his arrival at Virginia Tech, Craig was a post-doctoral fellow with the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, DC. He has also held a faculty position at Texas Tech University.
Known for his commitment to the classroom, Craig has taught over 13,500 students and won the Sporn Award, as well as several Certificates of Teaching Excellence. His areas of special interest include ore deposits, ore minerals (especially gold), earth resources, and environmental geochemistry.
An accomplished researcher, Craig has published extensively in major scientific journals and has made numerous presentations at professional meetings. He has authored three books, two of which are in their second edition, and he frequently serves as an invited speaker at national and international meetings, including in Argentina, Canada, China, Great Britain, Norway, South Africa, and Spain. He has served on state and national boards and commissions, and as Councilor for the Mineralogical Society of America and for the Society of Economic Geologists. His international research efforts include sites in Antarctica, Argentina, China, Norway, and England.
For more information about the undergraduate ceremony, call Carolyn Agnew at 1-3208.