The Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) has appointed two internationally renowned scientists as honorary professors on University Day, Saturday 15 June 2002, American professor of Jurisprudence Pamela Samuelson and Russian financial mathematician prof. Albert Nikolaevitch Shiryaev.
The two honorary professors were welcomed on 15 June on the first University Day. The programme begun at 10.00 in the University Auditorium (Aula) with a look back at the 2001-2002 academic year by Vice-Chancellor prof. Paul F. van der Heijden. In his speech the Vice-Chancellor discussed, amongst other topics, the successful international presentation of the UvA, the UvA efforts to introduce the bachelor/master-structure, the housing plans and the asbestos issue. He also addressed the university’s scientific research that has once again scored well to extremely well in any number of fields, the merger with the HvA and the alumni policy.
The title of honorary professor at the UvA- in principle conferred for life - is reserved for scientists who are professors or retired professors at institutions for academic education or research in the Netherlands or abroad and who have earned an extremely distinguished reputation in their field of science. The Vice-Chancellor then conferred upon the new honorary professors the decorations that go with the title, after which Samuelson and Shiryaev spoke briefly about their fields of research.
Prof. Pamela Samuelson
Dr. Samuelson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, is internationally known as one of the leading academics in the field of information law. She has published widely on copyright law and the Internet and is a prominent advocate of the protection of the constitutional rights (freedom of expression, privacy) now being threatened by the expansion of information technology. Her research is multi-disciplinary, and her publications have been in the field of legal sciences as well as legal economics. Primarily with her own funding, she has founded the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic, where law students can gain practical experience in pro bono procedures on matters of principle. The research conducted by prof. Samuelson is very much in keeping with the research programme of the Institute for Information Law at the UvA, which she has close ties with. She regularly takes part in symposiums, conferences and other research activities organized by the Institute.
Prof. Albert N. Shiryaev
Dr. Shiryaev (1934) has been a professor of Stochastics (probability theory) at the University of Moscow since 1970. The author of more than 180 publications and various standard works, Shiryaev is one of the most influential and active probability theorists in the world. His book Essentials of Stochastic Finance is on stochastic aspects of financial mathematics. Shiryaev’s wide range of interests covers mathematical statistics and financial mathematics, and he has conducted innovative work in the development of methods that can rapidly determine the change in the characteristics of observation data (the change point problem). He has also made major contributions to the theory of stochastic processes.
Shiryaev is a member of the renowned Steklov Mathematical Institute, has been an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society since 1986 and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of the Sciences since 1997, and has had an honorary doctorate from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg since 2001. The appointment of professor Shiryaev enhances the Stochastics Division, one of the three main research programmes at the Korteweg-De Vries Institute for Mathematics at the de UvA.
What does an honorary professor do?
Honorary professors are expected to give guest classes or lectures with a certain regularity or to make a contribution to the research being conducted. This active relationship with the UvA is the most important difference between an honorary professorship and an honorary doctorate, which does not involve any educational or research activities at the UvA. The first honorary professors were appointed at the UvA in May 2001: Nobel Prize Winner in Physics dr. Martinus Veltman, American immunologist dr. Barry R. Bloom and British paediatric psychiatrist Sir Michael L. Rutter.