William Jaco holds the Grayce B. Kerr Chair, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was appointed an Honorary Life-Member of the American Mathematical Society. His research in mathematics is in low-dimensional topology and geometry, where he is best known as a co-founder of the Jaco-Shalen-Johanson Decomposition Theorem and for his development of Normal Surface Theory and its applications to decision problems and algorithms. He came to OSU in 1982 as Head of Mathematics, after serving on the faculties of University of Michigan and Rice University for fourteen years. He has held research appointments at The Institute for Advance Study (Princeton), The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley), and The American Institute of Mathematics (Palo Alto). He served from 1988-95 as Executive Director and CEO of the American Mathematical Society.