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Renowned mathematician to deliver inaugural Stone Lecture
Thursday at Georgia Southern's College of Education
Sir Vaughan F.R. Jones
Sir Vaughan F.R. Jones

Sir Vaughan F.R. Jones, winner of the mathematical world's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, will launch the David R. Stone Distinguished Lecture series, hosted by Georgia Southern University's mathematical sciences department, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in College of Education Building, Room 1115.

Prior to the lecture, a reception will be held at 5 p.m. in the atrium of the lecture hall.

Jones, distinguished professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University and known for his work in von Neumann algebras and knot polynomials, will present "What is it about the Plane?" as the series' inaugural lecture. Jones received the 1990 Fields Medal, which is awarded once every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40 for outstanding discoveries in mathematics. The award is widely viewed as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

The Stone Distinguished Lecture Series is endowed in honor of Professor Emeritus of Mathematics David R. Stone, Ph.D., who taught at Georgia Southern University for 49 years. He arrived in 1968 as an assistant professor, retired from his full-time position in 2008 and taught part-time through 2017.

Stone's career

Stone developed and taught the math course in the Bell Honors Program curriculum, and later taught courses and directed honors thesis projects in the University Honors Program. He was also instrumental in starting the student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America at Georgia Southern and advised the Math Jeopardy team for many years.

Working with local schools, he coached math teams for tournaments and served as state director of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

Over the years, Stone was recognized for many contributions to the profession. He received numerous awards, including the 1993 Gladys M. Thomason Award for Distinguished Service and the 2005 John Neff Award from the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He also received the Mathematical Association of America's Southeastern Section Awards for Distinguished Service in 1998 and Distinguished Teaching in 2005, as well as the Certificate of Meritorious Service in 2009.

On campus, he received the Georgia Southern Award for Excellence in Contributions to Instruction in 1988 and the Award for Excellence in Service on 2000, one of only a few faculty members to receive both awards.

Stone's 49 years of teaching and service to Georgia Southern and his service to the profession have been recognized by creating the David R. Stone Senior Mathematics Major Award, presented each year to outstanding graduating seniors in the department, and also through an endowment by Stone and his wife, Ann Stone.

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