Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 - 3:43 PM

$2.5 Million Gift to Pratt Establishes Nation’s First Chair Uniting Mathematics and the Arts

Lawrence Sirovich and his son Matthew have made a $2.5 million commitment to Pratt Institute to establish the Sirovich Family Professorship of Mathematics for the Arts in Pratt’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The professorship honors longtime Pratt professor and Chair of the Institute’s Mathematics and Science Department, Carole Hochman Sirovich, Matthew’s mother, and Libby Silverstein Sirovich, Lawrence’s mother.  This gift aims to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations and initiatives to explore connections between mathematics and art, design, and architecture. In so doing, it will highlight the potential role of mathematics in the creation of art, in the way people experience art, and will provide new opportunities for the Pratt community to discover the mathematical beauty at the heart of art, design, and architecture.

“This is a truly transformative gift for Pratt Institute. This endowed professorship, the first in Pratt’s history for a full-time faculty position, will play a vital role in helping to build Pratt’s professoriate—one of the Institute’s top priorities—by attracting a leading scholar and educator. At the same time, it opens exciting new arenas of interdisciplinary exploration, an academic approach for which Pratt is known,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. “I am deeply grateful to the entire Sirovich family for their tremendous generosity and foresight in establishing the Sirovich Family Professorship in Mathematics for the Arts.” 

The gift will support the professor’s research activities, scholarly pursuits, and other related initiatives. In so doing, it will bolster Pratt’s increasingly strong reputation in the liberal arts and sciences. Most recently, the Institute was ranked 20th in the region (up from 26th) in U.S. News and World Report's prestigious “Best Colleges 2013” publication. The rankings covered 98 institutions in the U.S. News’s Regional Universities North category that provide a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

“Pratt is unique among the nation’s art and design colleges for its robust liberal arts offerings, particularly in mathematics and science. The Institute is already making a name for itself in the field of science and art, thanks to the leadership of key faculty members,” said Andrew W. Barnes, Dean of Pratt’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I anticipate that the Sirovich Family Professorship in Mathematics for the Arts will allow Pratt to create a groundbreaking academic and research program at the intersection of mathematics, art, design, and architecture and will revolutionize the approach to these disciplines.”

Lawrence is a mathematical scientist whose career spans many decades in wide ranging fields.  Carole and Lawrence’s daughter, Brenda, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Dartmouth Medical School and Matthew is an investment firm founder and managing partner of Manhattan based Scopia Capital LLC.  The couple has two grandchildren, Lucas and Eliza, who they believe will be heard from in the future.

Media Contact: Amy Aronoff at aarono29@pratt.edu or 718.636.3554.