The Loyola community and Department of Mathematics is honored to announce that Robert Jensen, professor of mathematics, has been invited to join the Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

Jensen was nominated by his peers for this distinction based off his contributions to the mathematical profession. This is the award’s inaugural year.

“I am very happy because [this award] is a significant recognition of my past accomplishments in math,” he says. “It is recognition for my entire body of work.”

Jensen’s field of study is in nonlinear partial differential equations and optimal control. In layman’s terms, that means he works to find theories and algorithms that help optimize the outcome of certain situations.

“In my own research I have worked on problems of fluids flowing through a porous media such as ground water flow, models of ice melting, elastic-plastic deformations of materials, and existence and uniqueness for optimal control problems, including ones motivated by computer science and economics,” says Jensen.

While being awarded this distinction is a personal accomplishment, Jensen says that it also is a substantial recognition for the University as a whole.

“Hopefully it will get people to look at the math department and realize we have really made tremendous strides in improving the quality of the faculty,” Jensen says.

Jensen acknowledged Loyola as being instrumental in his advancements and achievements in research.

“I have been able to participate in programs connected with my own areas of research and listen to other people’s lectures and share ideas,” he says, adding that talking with colleagues about research is important in developing one’s own ideas. Jensen mentioned one conference in particular that significantly helped him gain recognition for his work. He was one of 12 people to be invited to speak at the International Congress of Mathematics in 1998 on partial differential equations. This meeting is held every four years, and he says being invited to speak as part of that elite group holds a certain amount of prestige.

Jensen first came to Loyola in 1986 as a visiting professor. He became a full-time professor the following year in 1987. In that time, Jensen has taught a wide variety of math classes.

“I don’t think that there are very many classes I haven’t taught,” he says.

This year, there are more students enrolled in math courses than ever before. Jensen is encouraged because he says there are many great programs for students in the math department, even in this repressed economy.

Jensen looks forward to continuing his research and his work with the math department. When asked why he is drawn to math, he answered plain and simple.

“Because I like it, and I’m good at it,” he says.