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The Frederic and Julia Wan Distinguished Lecture Series honors Frederic and Julia Wan in recognition of their generous contributions and services to the Applied Mathematics community and science education.

“Fred Wan’s career has been defined by “mathematics in the service of humanity,” from neurobiology and developmental biology to solid mechanics and economics, from the classroom and the University to the National Science Foundation.  So it is in the spirit of Fred as model for us all that this lecture is on one of the most significant contributions of mathematics to the public good, the theory and practice of the management of infectious diseases. The current COVID-19 epidemic has motivated large numbers of mathematicians, physicists and engineers to follow Fred’s model, and turn their efforts to helping address an overwhelming current public health problem.  Perhaps we have reached a tipping point in the involvement of mathematicians and others in global problems.” — Simon Levin, Inaugural Lecturer.

Frederic Wan

Frederic Y.M. Wan was born in 1936 in Shanghai, China, first born of Olga Pearl Jung and Wai-nam Wan. Living with sister Ruth and her husband Robert Chinn’s family, Frederic graduated from Seattle’s Garfield High. He went east to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including his PhD (1965) in Mathematics under the direction of Eric Reissner. Frederic stayed at MIT as an instructor, moving on to Assistant Professor (1967) and Associate Professor (1969) of Applied Mathematics. Read more

Julia Wan

Julia Y.S. Chang was born in Hong Kong in 1937 and lived in Shantou, China until 1947 when she and her parents moved to Hong Kong. After graduation from high school in Sydney, Australia, Julia came to the U.S. to attend Wellesley College. She received a B.A. in Physics in 1960. She married Frederic Wan in 1960 and worked as a research biochemist which led to publications in Science and in the Proceedings for the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Read more

Frederic and Julia Wan Distinguished Lectures:

01/10/2023 – Simon Levin

Dr. Simon A. Levin is an American ecologist and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the director of the Center for BioComplexity at Princeton University.