In Memoriam: Charles I. Vinsonhaler

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Charles I. Vinsonhaler, Professor Emeritus of the Mathematics Department.

Chuck, as he was universally known, was on the UConn faculty for decades and served as Department Head (1997-2003). He founded the department’s world-leading Actuarial Science program and played a key role in the founding of the Goldenson Center. MathSciNet lists 98 scholarly works by Chuck, mostly in Algebra but also in Actuarial Science. He wrote Problem Solving, coauthored with Tom De Franco and Mark Naigles, and the monograph Advanced topics in linear algebra, coauthored with Kevin O’Meara and John Clark. He supervised at least eight doctoral dissertations and advised numerous Master’s students. Chuck held a number of visiting positions, including at the University of Canterbury, NZ, where he was an Erskine Fellow.

As one emeritus colleague put it, those of us who have known Chuck for many years remember, with great fondness, both his wisdom and the warm friendship and humor that he shared with us. I myself got to know him only over the last few years, and will treasure that memory.

In April 2019 the department’s Actuarial Science program arranged an event to celebrate Chuck. Many memories were shared by students and colleagues, including some who were his students and eventually colleagues. In closing let me quote a comment about Chuck from one student: “Changed the path of my life – I majored in math and have a quantitative profession. He is caring, has a great sense of humor and his deep understanding is an inspiration. Math is beautiful and sharing its depth touches ones soul – this professor helps you share this experience.”

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