Illinois Institute of Technology recently invested J.D. Trout as the John & Mae Calamos Endowed Chair in Philosophy—the university’s first endowed chair in philosophy.
Trout was most recently employed as a professor of philosophy and psychology at Loyola University Chicago. His research interests include the philosophy of science, epistemology, and cognitive science. Trout’s most recent book, Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, uses evidence from neuroscience, psychology and history to explain the rapid rise of Western science. He has published four other books and has a forthcoming volume based on a series of lectures he delivered through the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship in Philosophy.
Trout has held visiting positions at a variety of institutions including the University of Chicago, the University of Helsinki, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Innsbruck. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science from Cornell University.
Trout is a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Award and a National Science Foundation Scholar’s Grant. He's also been granted two fellowships: a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which he held at Cornell University, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, held at Bryn Mawr College.
The chair was established by John P. Calamos, Sr. (ECON '63, M.B.A. '70) and wife Mae. Calamos is founder, chairman, and global chief investment officer of Calamos Investments, founded in 1977. With origins as an institutional convertible bond manager, the firm has grown into a global asset management firm with major institutional and individual clients around the world. Calamos is often quoted as an authority on risk-managed investment strategies, markets, and the economy. He joined the United States Air Force after graduation and served as a combat pilot during the Vietnam War. Calamos is also an Illinois Tech Life Trustee, a member of Stuart School of Business Board of Advisors, and an active philanthropist in the Greek community.
“I have often been asked ‘Why did you endow a chair in Philosophy?’ When I was a student at IIT, studying architecture and later switching to finance, learning the skills of critical thinking really changed my whole view of the world,” says Calamos. “Looking back, my education was critical to my success over the years. My introduction to philosophy taught me how to question assumptions and that stayed with me all of my life. It is important to me to know that future students in the business school will learn how much philosophy can make a difference in all they do.”