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Sklar, Wise honored with Distinguished University Professorships

Continuing to recognize outstanding faculty, the University will honor two professors in its second annual Distinguished University Professorships lecture series.
Sklar (file photo by Bob Kalmbach, U-M Photo Services)

Lawrence Sklar, the Carl G. Hempel and William K. Frankena Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, will give the year's first lecture at 4 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League. His lecture topic is "Dappled Theories in a Uniform World."

Sklar, a Department of Philosophy faculty member since 1968, is considered one of the world's leading philosophers of science. Popular among both his peers and students, he is known for bringing clarity to some of the most complex areas of philosophy, such as space-time and statistical physics. His books, papers and reviews in these areas, as well as metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language, are considered classics.

Two of Sklar's best-known works are "Space, Time, and Spacetime," published in 1974, and "Physics and Chance," published in 1993. The former won the American Philosophical Association's Franklin J. Matchette Prize. The latter received the Imré Lakatos Award and was acclaimed by Choice magazine as "one of the most important books in the philosophy of science in the last 50 years."

Beyond his scholarly endeavors, Sklar has served on the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association and has presented the John Locke Lectures at Oxford University, one of the most prestigious lecture series in philosophy. He also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

On being honored by the University, Sklar says, "One of the nicest aspects of having one's work recognized with a University Professorship is that one gets to choose the name to be attached to the appointment. In my case, I chose those of Carl Hempel, my teacher and mentor, and of William Frankena, my former colleague.

"The areas of research of these two philosophers couldn't be more divergentphilosophy of science in the one case and moral philosophy and its history in the other," he says. "But these two distinguished scholars shared a common humanity and decency that will leave them long remembered and beloved by those into whose lives they entered, and it is a great honor to hold a professorship bearing those names."
Wise (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M photo Services)

Sharing the recognition with Sklar this year is Kensall D. Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. At 4 p.m. April 2 in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League, Wise will lecture on "Integrated Sensors, MEMS, and Microsystems: Interfacing Electronics to the Non-Electronic World."

"I feel deeply honored to have been chosen for a Distinguished University Professorship, and especially so to have it named for William Gould Dow," Wise says. "Although Bill was nearly 80 when I came to Michigan, I knew him for over 20 years, and he never failed to amaze me. He was a real dynamo."

Wise began his career at the University as assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in 1974, and was promoted to associate professor in 1978 and then to professor in 1982. In 1993, he was appointed the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology. Additionally, he currently heads the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center in Wireless Integrated MicroSystems.

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