In Memoriam: Terry Millar

Terry Millar died on Saturday, March 9, 2019 after a long battle with cancer.  Terry was a faculty member in the Math Department since 1976, retiring in 2015.

After dropping out of college to join the Marines for two years (including a brief stint as forward artillery observer in Vietnam), Terry started graduate school at Cornell and received his PhD in 1976 with Anil Nerode (twenty years his elder and still not retired!).

During the 1980’s, Terry was one of the world’s foremost researchers in computable model theory, an area which had been started by the Novosibirsk school of algebra and logic under Mal’cev and Ershov as well as, in the West, work of Fröhlich and Shepherdson, Rabin, and Nerode; and for a decade, Terry and Goncharov from Novosibirsk, both with coauthors, ended up proving the same results independently and almost simultaneously, but leaving many questions open to the current day.

In the late 1980’s, computable model theory fell briefly out of fashion, and Terry remembered his other great talent, administration, first serving for many years as Associate Dean in the Graduate School and finally as assistant to the Provost. He also became heavily involved in mathematics education and teacher training and was in charge of large grants for multiple school districts across the country, including Madison’s.

A few semesters before his retirement, Terry returned full time to the math department and revived in particular our history of mathematics course (using his unique expertise in both physics and logic).

He will be greatly missed in the department, and we mourn with his family this loss.

Memorial celebration of Terry’s life

Terry’s family, with guidance from a minister at the First Unitarian Society of Madison and help from many friends, invite all to a memorial to celebrate Terry’s life. This event will be on Sunday, March 24, 2019, in the Atrium Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison WI 53705.  A visitation period will begin at 2pm, followed by a memorial service at 3pm, and then a reception.