About John Polking

I was born and raised on a farm near the town of Breda in western Iowa. He went to Notre Dame, and then spent three years in the US Navy.

During graduate school at the University of Chicago, I spent some time consulting in industry. I received my PhD in 1966 for a thesis on partial differential equations. My current mathematical interests include partial differential equations and several complex variables.

After two years as an instructor at Brandeis, I came to Rice in 1968. With the exception of a year at the Courant Institute, another at the Institute for Advanced Study, and three years at the National Science Foundation, I have been at Rice since.

Although I retired in June 2004, I retain the rank of Professor Emeritus. I teach one course each spring at Rice. I am also an active member of the Steering Committee for the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) for whom I edit the Graduate Summer School Lecture Series.

I am also rewriting my textbooks in ordinary differential equaitons, and my computer software for use in differential equations courses.