Ronald G. Douglas



Ron Douglas was an early supporter of the Educational Advancement Foundation and, as a trustee, was key in elevating it to national recognition in the mathematical and educational communities. His mathematics and teaching were greatly influenced by his experience as a student of Pasquale Porcelli at Louisiana State University who, in turn, was a staunch practitioner of the teaching method of his professors at The University of Texas at Austin, H. S. Wall and R. L. Moore.

As an EAF trustee he originated the idea of forming the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning and was the coordinator for the principal "centers" of inquiry-based learning established initially with funds from Harry Lucas, Jr., and the EAF at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Ann arbor, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Harvard University.

Ron conceived the idea for the 2016 gathering, "Active Learning Approaches in Mathematics Instruction: Practice and Assessment Symposium," funded by the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the EAF.

A description of some of his distinguished mathematical work is included in the account from Texas A&M.

Remembrances of friends, family and colleagues appear in “Ronald G. Douglas: A Master in the Art of Transcending Problems,” (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, November 2019, pp. 1673–1684).

From a local obituary which included the video below of photographs from his life:

Ronald Douglas, 79, of College Station, longtime mathematician and former Provost of Texas A&M, passed on February 27, 2018. To honor Ron’s life, his family has planned a visitation from 5 – 7 pm on Friday, March 2, at Hillier Funeral Home in Bryan. Pastor Ted Foote will officiate the funeral service at First Presbyterian Church of Bryan at 2:30 pm on Saturday, March 3.

Ronald Douglas was born on December 10, 1938, to Mary Ellen Knapp Douglas and George Joseph Douglas in Osgood, Indiana. He graduated from Hughes High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1956. He received his Bachelors of Arts from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1960, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Mathematics from Louisiana State University in 1962.

Ronald Douglas’ academic career was prodigious and long-lasting. He was a professor at the University of Michigan until 1969. He became a professor and then Vice Provost at the State University of New York at Stony Brook until 1996. He then moved to College Station to become the Provost and Executive Vice President of Texas A&M University, ending as a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mathematics.

Ron was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, and earlier the First Presbyterian Church of Setauket. He traveled widely and had students around the world. He leaves behind his beloved Bunny, his wife of 34 years; children Michael, Kevin, Kristin, Kim, and Tana; beloved sister Marilyn and nephews Steve and Tim; and grandchildren Adrian, Alec, Laura, Saba, and Nicolas.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to American Parkinson Disease Association at



Latest revision: 13 Nov. 2019