The University of Szeged awards an honorary doctorate title (Doctor Honoris Causa) to Professor Ralph McKenzie. On this occasion Professor McKenzie will give a scientific talk at 14:00, November 11, 2019 at the Bolyai lecture room of the Bolyai Institute.

Ralph Nelson Whitfield McKenzie is an American mathematician born in Texas in 1941. He received his PhD in 1967 at the University of Colorado Boulder. From 1968 to 1994 he was a professor at the University of California Berkeley, since then he has been a distinguished professor of Vanderbilt University. In 2003 he obtained the Alfred Tarski Lectures Award for his work in mathematical logic. Twenty-seven students received their PhD degrees under his supervision, among them Miklós Maróti, the chair of the Department of Algebra of the University of Szeged.

Professor McKenzie has very diverse research interests and has obtained several outstanding results in logic, algebra, lattice theory and in the study of the algorithmic complexity of various problems in computer science. Three courses of the Doctoral Program of Mathematics are based mainly on his monographs. One of his most significant achievements is the initiation and development of “tame congruence theory,” which still provides the main tools and techniques used in the latest results in universal algebra. The five “local behaviors“ he has discovered connects classical algebra with general algebraic systems and various branches of theoretical computer science. By applying these tools, several mathematicians of the University of Szeged have obtained significant results. We can firmly state that Professor McKenzie is the most influential researcher of our time in logic and universal algebra.