Rod Driver

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Rodney D. Driver
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
from the 52nd (1987–1995);
39th (2009–2011) district
In office
6 January 1987 – 3 January 1995
Preceded by Donald R. Galloway (R-52)
Succeeded by Marguerite Bumpus (D-52)
In office
6 January 2009 – 4 January 2011
Preceded by Joseph H. Scott (D-39)
Succeeded by Larry Valencia (D-39)
Personal details
Born (1932-07-01) 1 July 1932 (age 84)
London, England
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carol J. (Frandsen) Driver
Children David, Karen, Bruce
Residence Richmond, Rhode Island
Alma mater University of Minnesota (B.S. 1953; M.S. 1955; Ph.D. 1960)
Profession Retired professor of mathematics University of Rhode Island
Religion Quaker

Rodney David "Rod" Driver (born 1932) is an American retired professor of mathematics known for research on differential equations and a former Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Between 1987 and 1995 he represented the towns of Richmond and Exeter in district 52. He was reelected on 4 November 2008 and represented the 39th District consisting of parts of Richmond, Exeter, and Charlestown from 6 January 2009 to 4 January 2011.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

Rod Driver was born in London, England, on 1 July 1932 to William and Marjorie Driver. Rod was a U.S. citizen from birth via his father's citizenship. He and his family lived in London during the Battle of Britain and The Blitz beginning in 1940 but were fortunate in surviving the bombardment and widespread destruction of the city during the war. Shortly after V-E Day in 1945, the Driver family was able to travel to the United States where they established residency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After high school, Rod studied at the University of Minnesota (UM), earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1953, and in 1955 he earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering also at UM. Also in 1955 he and Carole Frandsen were married. Carole and Rod had three children, David, Karen and Bruce, before he completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1960 at UM. Driver accepted a visiting appointment at the Research Institute for Advanced Studies in Baltimore, Maryland in 1960 and another at the Army Mathematics Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin in 1961 before joining the staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1962.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Rod Driver joined the faculty the University of Rhode Island in 1969 where he served as a mathematics professor until his retirement from academia in 1998. His mathematical research involved delay differential equations and their applications, including the prediction and modeling of the path of ionic particles in electromagnetic fields.[3] Driver authored three mathematics books and many dozens of research papers, and he has lectured in Europe as well as across the United States on his mathematical research. His scientific society memberships included the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America.[2]

Politics and public service[edit]

Since 1951, Driver devoted much effort toward peace and human rights in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.[4] He is a member of Amnesty International, the American Friends Service Committee, SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel,[5] and the Sierra Club.[2]

Driver's first electoral success was his election as a delegate to the 1986 Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. Driver's major contribution to the convention was a motion for a "neutral re-write" that converted a confusing 19,000-word draft document that included all stricken language from the previous 1843 Constitution and with all of its amendments upon amendments, to an 8,000-word readable constitution that is now in current use.[2][6]

When the Constitutional Convention ended, Driver was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he served from as the representative from District 52 (Richmond and Exeter) from 1987 to 1995.[7] As a representative, he introduced legislation on recycling, water protection, commuter rail service and other environmental concerns. He routinely opposed proposed longer prison sentences for non-violent offenses, and he was a leader in the eventually-successful efforts to ban smoking in schools and to strengthen the law against selling tobacco products to children.[8] And he became a vocal opponent of legalized gambling. Rod wrote the law which banned craps, blackjack, roulette and similar games in Rhode Island – creating a big hurdle for developers who wanted to build a full-fledged gambling casino in the state.[9] In 1993 Driver was appointed to the House Finance Committee.[2]

After leaving the legislature in January 1994, Driver served as the volunteer executive director of the Government Accountability Project for the year 1995, and was active with Operation Clean Government in Rhode Island for several years.[10] In 2000 he ran unsuccessfully as an Independent against James Langevin for the open Second Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Robert Weygand.[11]

Driver was reelected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives on 4 November 2008 and has represented the 39th District consisting of parts of Richmond, Exeter, and Charlestown since 6 January 2009.[1] During the 2009–2010 session, he served on the House Committee on Judiciary. In June 2010, Representative Driver announced that he would not seek reelection for another term in the 2010 elections.[12]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Driver, R.D. 1962. Existence and stability of solutions of a delay-differential system. Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis 10(1):401–426.
  • Driver, R.D. 1965. Existence and continuous dependence of solutions of a neutral functional-differential equation. Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis 19(2):149–166.
  • Driver, R.D. and M.J. Norris. 1967. Note on uniqueness for a one-dimensional two-body problem of classical electrodynamics. Annals of Physics 42(2):347–351.
  • Driver, R.D. 1977. Ordinary and Delay Differential Equations. Springer Verlag, New York. 501pp. ISBN 0-387-90231-7
  • Driver, R.D. 1978. Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations. Harper and Row, New York. 340pp. ISBN 0-06-041738-2.
  • Driver, R.D. 1979. Can the future influence the present? Physical Reviews D 19:1098–1107.
  • M.J. Norris and R.D. Driver 1981. A uniqueness theorem for ordinary differential equations. SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis 12(2):141–144.
  • Driver, R.D. 1984. Why Math? Springer Verlag, New York. 233pp. ISBN 0-387-90973-7
  • Driver, R.D., G. Ladas, and P.N. Vlahos. 1992. Asymptotic behavior of a linear delay difference equation. Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society 115(1):106–112.


  1. ^ a b "District 39 Election Results 2008". State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Meet Rod Driver". Rod Driver personal website. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Driver, R.D. and M.J. Norris. 1967. Note on uniqueness for a one-dimensional two-body problem of classical electrodynamics. Annals of Physics 42(2):347–351.
  4. ^ "Driver Commentary on Palestinian Issues". Westerly Sun 1 August 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel". Resource Center for Nonviolence. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Introduction to the Rhode Island Constitution". Rhode Island General Assembly. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "RI Election Results". Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Rhode Island children's anti-smoking law". Rhode Island General Assembly. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "General Laws of Rhode Island Section 11-51". Rhode Island General Assembly. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "About OCG". Operation Clean Government (Rhode Island). Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Results for the 2000 RI 2nd Congressional District race". Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Representative Rodney D. Driver". Rhode Island Secretary of State. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]