By the Numb3rs Fall 2021 - In Memoriam


Gunduz Caginalp

Dr. Gunduz Caginalp received his PhD from Cornell University in 1978 and became a faculty member at Pitt in 1984.  He rose to the rank of Full Professor and remained an active member of the department until his passing. Dr. Caginalp did applied mathematics research relating to physics, materials science, and most recently economics and finance.  Much of his most influential research considered differential equation models describing the energy and other properties of boundaries between two different phases (e.g., liquid and solid) in a material.  He also made multiple contributions to quantitative behavioral finance, which describes various factors that influence valuations of assets.  For example, his recent studies bubbles in cryptocurrency pricing attracted significant attention.  Dr. Caginalp’s three sons took and excelled in mathematics courses at Pitt; several of Caginalp’s recent papers on financial mathematics were written in collaboration with one of his sons, Dr. Carey Caginalp.

A brief obituary and tributes to Dr. Caginalp can be found here:

Robert Heath

We are saddened to share that Professor Emeritus Bob Heath died at his home in Auburn, Alabama on Sunday morning, September 19, 2021.  Bob received his PhD from UNC, Chapel Hill in 1959, where he completed a dissertation on “Arc-wise Connectedness in Semi-Metric Spaces” under the supervision of F. Burton Jones.  He was hired as a faculty member at Pitt in 1970, advised 7 Pitt PhD students, and retired in 2008.   His wife Jo Heath was also a topologist and taught some classes at Pitt.

Ka-Sing Lau

We are saddened to share that Professor Emeritus Ka-Sing Lau died on October 12, 2021. Ka-Sing received his PhD from The University of Washington, at Seattle, in 1972.  He joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Mathematics in 1974 as an assistant professor and moved up the ranks to full professor in 1986.  Ka-Sing’s areas of research were functional analysis, harmonic analysis, fractal geometry, wavelet theory, and applied probability.