Gerald Edgar

Gerald Edgar (28/30)


CCS is honored to showcase 50 individuals and activities during our 50th Anniversary to share our rich history and amazing people responsible for making our unconventional College possible! Return regularly to learn more. 

I entered the College of Creative Studies in Fall of 1967, just as it opened.  The memories of my experience as a Mathematics student at the College may be altered by time, but let me tell you some of them.

I remember Professor Marvin Mudrick, the first CCS Provost, who with boundless energy got the College going and kept it going. I sometimes wonder if he knew every student in the College by name. I did not have many personal conversations with him, but I remember how he came up with a source of financial aid just when I needed it most.

I remember a large, but ancient building where the College was housed. It had space for many things, such as a dance studio, an art studio, classrooms, and of course the College office.  The College had a total staff of one secretary!  Many years later, when I returned to the campus for a visit, I could not find that building.  I learned that the original building CCS was housed in had been torn down to make way for the expansion of the UCSB Library.

I remember hearing distinguished speakers such as Hugh Kenner, Lotte Lehman, and Buckminster Fuller. But most of all I remember Professor Max Weiss who single-handedly ran Mathematics in the College.  Weiss later served as CCS Provost.  I knew some Mathematics before I arrived at the College and I learned a lot after leaving, but my formation as a mathematician owes a lot to Professor Weiss.  At one point during our first year, when we students were first starting to do our own work, Professor Weiss said, "It's like I am watching little copies of myself!"

I completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Harvard University.  I served on the faculty at Northwestern University, and then on the faculty at The Ohio State University for 35 years.  I am now retired and live in Colorado.

Most of the other students in Mathematics major from that first class have also become academics; some in Mathematics, some in Computer Science. I still see some of them or hear of them from time to time.

I have written 65 research papers in Mathematics, and am the author or co-author of five books. The most popular one is the textbook Measure, Topology, and Fractal Geometry, published by Springer-Verlag New York (now Springer Nature) in 1990.  I am an editor of the "Problems and Solutions" column of The American Mathematical Monthly.