Established in 1992, this chair was made possible by estate gifts from long-time Northfield resident Grace Whittier and her sister Gladys (Petie) Coleman of California. The Buck Hill ski area in Burnsville was included as part of the Whittier estate, which also included bequests to Carleton College and the City of Northfield. Former holders of this chair have been James Cederberg (Physics), Robert Jacobel (Physics), Eric Cole (Biology) and Douglas Beussman (Chemistry).
Jill Dietz is Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. She has taught at St. Olaf since 1996 after completing her doctorate in mathematics at Northwestern University and teaching at the University of Washington and Gettysburg College.
At St. Olaf, Dietz has served as Chair of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science; Director of Mathematics; and is currently Director of Computer Science. She is deeply committed to providing research experiences in mathematics for St. Olaf students and has advised over 40 student research projects and publications.
Over 15 publications feature Dietz’s work. She is an editor for several journals including Minnesota Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics and Mathematical Review. Her expertise has been entrusted in reviewing various mathematic departments in colleges across the country and other mathematical publications. Dietz is a professional member of the Association for Women in Mathematics as well as the Mathematical Association of America.