In Memoriam: Joe McKenna

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Patrick Joseph McKenna. Joe passed away December 29, 2021. It was a shock for those of us who have been in touch with him recently. He attended a grad panel in the department on November 19th and shared some advice for our students.

Joe received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1976. After appointments at the University of Wyoming and at the University of Florida, he joined UConn in 1986 as full Professor and served on our faculty until 2018. Joe’s research was mostly in the area of partial differential equations. MathSciNet lists 115 publications by Joe, with over 2,500 citations. At UConn he advised 14 PhD students. He was a popular teacher and won the MAA Northeastern Section Teaching Award in 2004. Over the years he influenced many students. Talitha Washington’s article in the Notices of the AMS has a photo of Joe and some of her memories of the department from her time here.

We are grateful to have known Joe and to have had the chance of enjoying his company. His memory will be with all who came to know him. A memorial service might take place in the future when there are no pandemic restrictions.

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