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Raymond D. Mindlin's 100th Birthday: a Reminiscence by Bruno A. Boley

Xi Chen's picture

The past September marks the 100th birthday of Professor Raymond D. Mindlin. In June 2006, we organized a Mindlin Centennial Symposium in Boulder, CO, which was the largest symposium in USNCTAM'06 with more than 50 speakers.

The Symposium was very successful, and we are in particular grateful to Professor Bruno A. Boley (Mindlin's former colleague at Columbia University), who presented the opening reminiscence speech about Professor Mindlin, and to Professor Yih-Hsing Pao (Mindlin's doctoral student in 1950's), who, despite of his adverse health condition, delivered the first technical presentation entitled R. D. Mindlin and Applied Mechanics.

Professor Bruno Boley's opening reminiscence speech about Professor Mindlin was extremely well-received. The full text is attached here. We also plan to publish his speech, along with a technical paper in preparation by Professor Yih-Hsing Pao, as well as other technical papers, in a special issue of a journal.

Attached below are two photos of Professor Mindlin. The first one is the his standard black and white portrait, and the second is a rare color picture taken around 1979 in Princeton University (thanks to Professor Peter C.Y. Lee).

PDF icon mindlin-boley.pdf712.89 KB


Rui Huang's picture

Xi: thanks for this post. I have been thinking to post something about Mindlin, but have got nothing better than this. Since Mindlin was also a Timoshenko Medalist (1964), we should try to find his lecture.


Zhigang Suo's picture

Rui:  I really like your entry of Mindlin in Wikipedia.  It is a work in progress, and several people  have edited it.  But you got it started and have kept it evolving.  Let us hope that one day all distinguished mechanicians will have an entry in Wikipedia.  It is up to us to articulate why we are important to the public.  No one else will do it for us.  Thank you for pointing out a way for us.

Xi Chen's picture

Rui: Thank you for editing the post. Zhigang asked me about his Timoshenko Lecture some times ago. I checked with both Bruno Boley and Frank DiMaggio (they are the only ones who were here before 1964) and they had no idea about his lecture. It has been over 30 years since Mindlin retired from Columbia, so something may be hard to recover. According to Yih-Hsing Pao, he left a big house in NH when he died and maybe there are some clue, but very few people know how to contact the current owner of that house.

Ji Wang's picture

Certainly Xi and Rui have organized a big conference for Mindlin, but there were two earlier symposia in different fields.

 The first one was in the 2005 Chinese Conference on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.  There was a Mindlin Symposium with about 20 talks with people related Mindlin like Yook-Kong Yong and CS Lam from the US.  There papers are now published in Science in China G (


Another one was held in this May with the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium in Miami, FL.  Many people associated with Mindlin was there.  The papers will appear in the proceedings of the conference (

 A book with selected papers from all these conferences has been suggested by not started yet.

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. Looking forward to read more of your post and updates in the future. selfie stick

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