Joseph L. Taylor (1941-2016)

Joseph L. Taylor (1941-2016)

On July 28th, 2016, our friend and colleague, Joe Taylor, passed away. Joe had a long history in the department, and left an indelible imprint on it.

After graduating from Olympus High School in 1959, Joe took a job at Litton Electron Devices (now L3 Communications). In the 1960-1961 academic year, he began taking math classes at the U. In the summer of 1961, he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and enrolled directly in the graduate program at LSU. He received his PhD in 1964, and then became a Benjamin Peirce Instructor at Harvard. He stayed at Harvard just one year before returning to the University of Utah in 1965, where he spent the remainder of his career.

Joe served as Chair of the department from 1979-1982, as Dean of the College of Science from 1985-1987, and as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1987-90. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2012. He was instrumental in transforming the department into the center of first-rate mathematical research that it is today.

Among his many mathematical distinctions, he was a Sloan Fellow from 1967-71, an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1974, and he received the American Mathematical Society's highest research award, the Steele Prize, in 1975.

The first picture above was taken during Joe's term as Dean of the College of Science. The second is from 1974 on the occasion of him winning the University of Utah's Distinguished Research Award.

An obituary appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. (The link to the original is here.)

A video of memories of Joe (produced by Dave Gilliam) is available here.