Three faculty from Stony Brook University’s College of Arts and Sciences have been honored with the rank of Distinguished Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees:
Xiuxiong Chen, Department of Mathematics, in the last several years has made transformational contributions to the field of complex differential geometry, as well as the most important breakthrough in Kähler geometry in the past 40 years. He had a groundbreaking a priori estimate for Kähler metrics. With Sir Simon Donaldson and Song Sun, Dr. Chen proved the Donaldson Tian-Yau conjecture, the existence of special metrics on complex manifolds of positive curvature. In 2019 he received the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry, the field’s most prestigious honor given every three years by the American Mathematical Society. Dr. Chen along with Dr. Bing Wang, solved two long-standing problems: the Hamilton-Tian conjecture on the limiting metric of Kähler-Ricci flow, and a fundamental result on the existence of constant scalar curvature Kähler metrics. A fellow of the American Mathematical Society, Dr. Chen is a Simons Fellow in Mathematics. He has received a $500,000 Simons Foundation Investigator Award, a prestigious five-year award given to a few distinguished researchers at the heights of their careers.
Howardena Pindell, Department of Art, brings a powerful voice for social justice to her pioneering conceptual art. She utilizes gridded, serialized imagery along with surface texture throughout her work, powerfully addressing social issues of homelessness, AIDS, war, genocide, sexism, xenophobia, and apartheid. In 1967 Dr. Pindell was the first appointed female African-American curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). In 1972 she co-founded the A.I.R. Gallery, the first artist-directed gallery for female artists in the United States. Dr. Pindell’s work has been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, MOMA, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art. She has received the top awards in her field: a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987), the Most Distinguished Body of Work or Performance Award from the College Art Association (1990), the Distinguished Contribution to the Profession Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (1996), and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. She is considered to be one of the most significant artists of the second half of the 20th century.
Stanislaus S. Wong, Department of Chemistry, has founded new approaches for the synthesis of metal oxide nanomaterials, novel strategies for adding chemical functionalities to carbon nanotubes, and innovative environmentally friendly solvents and processes. With $8 million in research funding, he has produced over 170 publications with 20,000 citations and 20 patents. Across his career he has fostered collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr. Wong has received the American Chemical Society Inorganic Award, a Sloan Fellowship, the Buck-Whitney Award, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In 2018 SUNY granted him the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Dr. Wong had served as the Executive Editor of ACS Applied Materials and Interface, as section editor for Nanotechnology, and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Chemistry of Materials.
The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national and/or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field. This distinction is attained through extraordinary contributions to, and impact on, the candidate’s field of study, often evidenced by significant research and/or creative activity. Moreover, the candidate should be a role model for students and other faculty and their work must be of such character that it has the potential to elevate the standards of scholarship or creative activity of colleagues both within and beyond their academic fields. Their work must be of such quality that students and scholars on other SUNY campuses would benefit from lectures and seminars, or other appropriate presentations the faculty members might provide. Further, to be eligible for nomination, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, and must have at least one year of full-time service at the nominating institution.
Since the program’s inception in 1963, SUNY has appointed 429 faculty to the rank of Distinguished Professorship. More information about SUNY’s faculty award program is available online.