Dmitry DolgopyatRichard Greene and Zhanqing Li have been named Distinguished University Professors—the highest academic honor bestowed by the University of Maryland. They will be honored at the university’s annual Faculty and Staff Convocation on September 14, 2022.

“These faculty members are exceptionally deserving of being named Distinguished University Professors,” said Amitabh Varshney, dean of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). “I was proud to nominate them for consideration, and I celebrate and honor their inspirational commitment to CMNS and our students through their teaching, research and service.”

Dolgopyat, Greene and Li join more than 50 colleagues in CMNS who have been named Distinguished University Professors since 1980. Distinguished University Professors are faculty members who have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their scholarly achievements. UMD’s president, along with a committee composed of the provost and seven faculty members—including several Distinguished University Professors—from diverse disciplines select the honorees each year.

Dmitry Dolgopyat

Dmitry Dolgopyat. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.Dmitry Dolgopyat. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.

Dolgopyat is a world-renowned leader in the Department of Mathematics whose work focuses on dynamical systems, a field that studies the time evolution of natural and abstract systems.

Since joining UMD in 2002 as an associate professor, he gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians, was awarded the Michael Brin Prize in Dynamical Systems, received the Annales Henri Poincaré Prize, was invited to give a plenary talk at the International Congress on Mathematical Physics and was elected as a foreign member of Academia Europaea.

Over his career, he has published 78 papers and mentored more than a dozen students and postdocs. He has also served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern DynamicsNonlinearityErgodic Theory and Dynamical SystemsAnnales Henri Poincaré, and the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.

He received his diploma in mathematics from Moscow State University in Russia in 1994 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1997.


Richard Greene

Richard Greene. Credit: Faye Levine. Click image to download hi-res version.Richard Greene. Credit: Faye Levine. Click image to download hi-res version.

Greene joined UMD as a professor in 1989 to lead the Center for Superconductivity Research (now called the Quantum Materials Center) in the Department of Physics as its founding director.

He is a pioneer in the study of superconductivity and the synthesis and study of advanced quantum materials. He discovered the first superconducting polymer, discovered several new quantum phenomena in complex materials and detected magnetic spin waves optically for the first time. Greene’s work has had a large impact on the fields of both materials science and physics.

He has published 435 articles that have been cited more than 33,000 times, mentored more than 20 students and postdocs, and received continuous funding from the National Science Foundation since 1993. Before joining UMD, Greene was a researcher at IBM.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The APS named its dissertation award for experimental condensed matter physics in his honor.

Greene earned his B.S. in physics from MIT in 1960 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967.



Zhanqing Li

Zhanqing Li. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.Zhanqing Li. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.

Li, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, has made major contributions in atmospheric and environmental sciences that have improved our understanding of the Earth’s climate and air quality through remote sensing, experiments and modeling.

Li is a world leader in atmospheric physics, aerosols, clouds, radiation and their impact on climate change and air pollution. One of his discoveries was that aerosols—tiny airborne particles—in air and in clouds played a major role in trapping and reflecting heat and in modulating cloud and precipitation. His work redefined how scientists view the roles of clouds in Earth’s climate, and his models have been used by NASA and others for calculating the global energy budget and monitoring wildfires and air quality.

He is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese-American Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Li also received a Humboldt Research Award and the AGU’s Yoram J. Kaufman Outstanding Research and Unselfish Cooperation Award, among other honors. 

During his 20 years at UMD, he has mentored 23 Ph.D. students and 20 postdocs, been awarded $16 million in research grants, and published more than 380 peer-reviewed journal articles that have been cited more than 25,000 times. He was named a Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science in 2020 and 2021 and one of the top 100 environmental scientists in the world by Many of his papers were influential in the IPCC assessment report and he is a contributor to the 2021 report for addressing climate change. He has served as editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and Advances in Meteorology.

He received his B.S. and M.S. from the Department of Meteorology at China’s Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology in 1983 and 1986, respectively. After graduating with his Ph.D. in 1991 from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University, he worked as a Canadian government researcher until 2001 when he joined UMD as a professor.


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