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Professor Iraj Kalantari

Mathematics Chair Leads International Workshop

October 6, 2003

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University Professor Iraj Kalantari (ee ragj • ka lun TAR ee) is returning to his homeland of Iran as a visitor and a respected mathematician.

Kalantari, chair of Western Illinois' mathematics department, is one of two U.S. educators on an international team of eight mathematicians who have organized the Logic, Algebra and Arithmetic conference scheduled for Oct. 18-22 at The Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IMP). The IMP is located in the capital city of Tehran, Kalantari's hometown.

He is also among the presenters, which include mathematicians from the University of Illinois and American University (D.C.) as well as from Russia, Canada, England and the Netherlands. Kalantari will spend the week preceding the conference visiting the city he left in 1966 and many of his relatives. Since then, he has visited Iran two times, the latest in 1972.

Over the years Kalantari has received several invitations from IMP to visit, but had declined; however, "this time it feels right," he said.

"This is a great honor and a tremendous opportunity to promote the work of mathematicians in Iran and to help establish better connections between Iranian and other mathematicians," Kalantari explained. "I see it as a small step in improving the discipline's flow and, in the back of my mind, even a smaller stop to help in reconciling and restoring better relations between Iran and the U.S., which have been strained over the years."

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Kalantari earned his bachelor's degree (1970) at the University of Wisconsin and his doctorate (1976) at Cornell University. He joined the Western Illinois faculty in 1978, following two years of post-doctorate work at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was named department chair in August 1999.

Information about the Logic, Algebra and Arithmetic conference is available on the web at

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