Chris byrnes

Workshop in Celebration 
of the Life, Mathematics  and Memories of Christopher I. Byrnes

September 10 - 11, 2010

Lubbock, Texas

Christopher Byrnes was born in the Bronx,   NY, on June 28, 1949.  He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Manhattan College in 1971, and his master's and doctorate in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts in 1973 and 1975.

From 1975 to 1978, he was an instructor at the University of Utah.  From 1978-1984, he was an assistant professor, then an associate professor in the Division of Applied Science at Harvard University.  From 1984-1989, he was research professor of engineering and mathematics at Arizona State University.

Chris was a gifted teacher had  at least 19  PhD students many of which hold prestigious positions at major universities in the United States and Europe.

In 1989, he moved to Washington University as chairman and professor in the Department of Systems Science and Mathematics.  From  1991 to 2005 Chris served as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.   Under Chris’ leadership, the school’s endowment increased from $54 million to $185 million. Endowed professorships increased from nine to 37.

He has held visiting appointments at various institutions including: Kungliska Tekniska Hogskolan, Stockholm, Sweden; Ceremade, Universite Paris - Dauphine, Paris, France;  Universita di Roma, Rome, Italy;  Soviet Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Kiev Moscow, USSR; IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria; University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; Universiteit Groningen, The Netherlands, and Universitat Bremen, Bremen, BRD, and  research professorship at North Carolina State University.

Chris Byrnes was the author of more than 250 technical papers and books, and his contributions to mathematics and engineering spanned a wide set of topics. He had an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of large portions of mathematics, and he brought deep mathematical insight and a plethora of advanced mathematical tools to tackle important and difficult problems in systems and control theory. He was a Fellow of the IEEE, two time winner of the George Axelby Prize, and received an Automatica Best Paper Award from the International Federation for Automatic Control. In 2005 he was awarded the Reid Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for his contributions to Control Theory and Differential Equations, in 2008 he received the Hendrik W. Bode Prize for fundamental contributions to algebraic and geometric approaches to systems and control, and in 2009 he was named an inaugural Fellow of SIAM.    Among his research interests were feedback design in automatic control, nonlinear dynamics and control, and statistical estimation and filtering. His research found application in electrical power systems, signal processing and speech synthesis, among other areas. He held four U.S. patents and received more than $5 million in competitively awarded grants.