UNCG Research

Shivaji named Barton Excellence Professor in Mathematics

Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by UNCG Research.
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Redacted from an article by Steve Gilliam, 336-334-4314, UNCG University Relations

Ratnasingham Shivaji, Department Head and Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

UNCG Research congratulates Ratnasingham Shivaji on his appointment as the Helen Barton Excellence Professor in Mathematics. Dr. Shivaji joined UNCG last fall, and his appointment to the endowed professorship was effective January 1, 2012.

“I was delighted when Dr. Shivaji agreed to join us at UNCG as head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where he is already providing excellent leadership,” said Dr. Timothy Johnston, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNCG. “I am equally pleased that the Board of Trustees has approved his appointment to the Barton Professorship, which is a fitting recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in mathematics.”

Dr. Shivaji specializes in partial differential equations, with a particular focus on nonlinear elliptic boundary valve problems. Funded over several years by the National Science Foundation, his research has applications in combustion theory, chemical reactor theory, and population dynamics. He has authored over 100 research papers, has presented over 150 research talks at conferences and international institutions, and serves on several mathematics journals’ editorial boards. Shivaji also organized eight highly successful Mississippi State University – University of Alabama at Birmingham conferences on “Differential Equations and Computational Simulations.”

Prior to joining UNCG, Shivaji served for 26 years at Mississippi State University, where he was honored as a W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor. He earned his Ph.D. in 1981 from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.


About the Endowed Professorship

Funds for the Helen Barton Excellence professorships are made possible by the UNCG Excellence Foundation, Inc., a long-time support organization for the institution. Martha Helen Barton, the inspiration for the professorship, was born in Maryland in 1891. Barton graduated from Goucher College (Woman’s College of Baltimore until 1910) in 1913, received her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins in 1922, and received her doctorate in 1926 with physics and applied mathematics as her first and second subordinate subjects. While pursuing these degrees, she served as an assistant in physics at Goucher, a head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC, an instructor of mathematics at Wellesley College, and an associate professor of mathematics at Albion College in Michigan. After receiving her doctorate, Barton spent a year as a professor and department head at Alabama College (today’s University of Montevallo).

In 1927, Helen Barton joined the faculty at the North Carolina College for Women (today’s UNCG), where she remained until her retirement. She began her career as associate professor and acting head of the department, and in 1928, she became a full professor and head of the department. Barton retired as a professor emeritus in 1960 at the age of 68, but she continued teaching part time. In addition to teaching and chairing the mathematics department, Helen Barton was active both on campus and in various professional groups including the faculty science club, the campus chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, AAUW, the NC Education Association, and the NC Academy of Science. In 1960, the faculty lounge in the McIver classroom building was named in her honor. Helen Barton died in Greensboro at age 79 and was buried in Baltimore.