Evaluation of the
Accreditation Report for the Department of Mathematics
The Department of Mathematics had to go through an
evaluation by an external panel that leads to an
accreditation report. I am not in favor of this procedure as
it usually leads to insults and misunderstandings. Moreover,
it treats our departments as if their faculty has no
international experience or is indifferent for the
Department's quality; some wise persons will have the great
ideas that we could not think of, and will help us emerge to
the western world norm.
What follows is my evaluation of the accreditation
committee's report. Their report is published on our web here.
Let us see the Accreditation panel (as written in their
- Prof. Alekos Vidras (Chair), University of Cyprus,
- Prof. Nikolaos Dimakis, University of Texas Rio Grande
Valley, Texas, USA
- Prof. Panagiotis Souganidis, The University of
Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Prof. Nikolaos Stylianopoulos, University of Cyprus,
A few more details by me:
- Professor Vidras is in Complex Analysis and related
topics. His default University page has a list of
selected publications and he does not have a personal
web page himself (as of Nov2020).
- Professor Dimakis is in Computational material
science. His default University page has a list of 5
publications (I guess selected) and he also does not
seem to have a personal web page himself (as of
- Professor Souganidis, a distinguished professor, is in
PDEs and related topics and he does have a web page
other than the University default.
- Professor Stylianopoulos is in Numerical Analysis,
Complex Analysis and related topics and he does have a
web page other than the University default.
2 out of 4 do not have a web page other than the University
default (as of Nov17/2020).
2 out of 4 do not have a complete publication list but a
selected list (as of Nov17/2020).
This panel with the above characteristics found that 2 out
of 20 Professors in our Department do not have a personal
web page, although all of them have the University default.
It was explained that one of those persons was just elected
in our department and it was only 1 that did not have a
personal web page. However, they used this to inflate their
report with suggestions :
"The faculty should maintain up to date webpages listing
their education, academic positions, service, teaching, and
a complete list of publication."
The University of the Aegean is one of the most developed
Universities in Greece in computer systems and Web presence.
I find the above critique not acceptable.
3 out of 4 of the panel are related to Numerical Analysis.
This leaves questions about their suggestion to remove the
teaching of the Lebesgue measure in R as a compulsory course
and instead make compulsory the numerical analysis one,
although the previous accreditation of the department praised
the fact that we teach the Lebesgue measure in R as
compulsory and actually suggested to move it to the 5th
semester instead of the 6th. To teach a little of measure in
R is quite modern and used to improve courses such as
probability, geometry and several others. To teach Numerical
Analysis as a compulsory course does not lead to many
courses in this curriculum. If they wanted us to completely
change the curriculum to add more Numerical Analysis
courses, then my comment is that not only numerical analysts
produce students that look for a job.
On Analysis they suggest us to teach the material of Rudin
"Principles of Mathematical Analysis". This indeed took me
with surprise. I respect Professor Rudin, I got to know him
personally when he visited Texas A&M University in the
nineties, and his books offered a lot to the mathematical
community. But this is a book of the early sixties. Most
probably Rudin started the writing if the book in the
fifties. The translation to Greek is erratic (to my opinion)
with questionable translation of several terms. All in all
this is a bad choice in 2020. I tend to believe that
Souganidis did not read his suggestion. He just signed the
evaluation. There is no other explanation for this. And if
we do this the next accreditation panel will blame us for
teaching too old books.
"At the beginning of every academic year, each faculty
member must submit to the Head of the department an updated
CV and 1-2 pages 'yearly activities' report."
Is "I taught my courses, was loaded with practically
infinite bureaucracy, and I was thinking on those problems"
enough? Mathematics is not a computer or lab activity to
have guaranteed results. Moreover, this supersedes the law.
And why the CV of some of you is stuck in 2014?
Course overlap. Yes they found a paragraph in just one
course that was placed there to provide reminders to
students. And with this they make an issue "avoid overlaps
and provide accurate description of the classes offered".
About the accurate description, we are of the rare
departments they describe many course's material on a weekly
basis. What is the proper rate? Per minute?
They suggest to teach a new course and show students of the
first year the potential uses of Mathematics. Does Princeton
have such a course? Where is it and what book do they use so
we can do the same? I promise I will translate it to Greek.
"Have an undergraduate seminar once every two weeks."
I work hard every year with other colleagues to have a
weekly quality undergraduate seminar that exists only in few
universities around the globe, has its own web page https://myria.math.aegean.gr/psag/
and publishes the talks given, distributing the printed
journal in all University libraries of Greece. This is
Where is the web page of their undergraduate seminar in
Cyprus, Chicago or Rio Grande?
The rest of their suggestions, I am really sorry to say, are
trivialities. For example, "have an orientation week for
freshmen", "continue to have all relevant policy documents
pertaining to the department readily available and
accessible". They do not understand that this is insulting.
Did we need "the judge" to have our documents accessible or
orient the freshmen? Did they come to write their report
thinking that we are low quality and were surprised by the
fact that our web pages are so rich? Other suggestions are
violating the law. For example "This requires ... the
ability of the faculty members to teach more one semester
and less another." Do you suggest us to violate the law?
And, no, I will not teach Rudin's Principles book on
Analysis from the fifties in 2020.
Antonis Tsolomitis. Nov17/2020