Obituary: Martin Silverstein, 64, mathematics professor

Martin Silverstein, Ph.D., professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, died Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004, when he was struck by a car while walking in University City. He was 64.

Silverstein was a distinguished mathematician whose accomplishments in the areas of probability and harmonic analysis earned him national and international renown. His seminal work in collaboration with Donald Burkholder at the University of Illinois and Richard Gundy of Rutgers University transformed the methodology of modern harmonic analysis.

Silverstein earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961 and earned a doctorate from Princeton University in 1965. In 1977, he came to Washington University as a professor of mathematics.

On a visit to China in the early 1980s, Silverstein met Peking University’s Qian Min Ping, who subsequently spent a year at Washington University as one of the first Chinese scientists to visit the United States. This launched a steady stream of graduate students and researchers from throughout China to the University’s mathematics department.

Silverstein also collaborated with members of the Department of Physics in Arts & Sciences on several papers in mathematical physics.

Despite the necessity to cope with various chronic health problems stemming from a serious illness in 1983, Silverstein continued as an active member of the mathematics department. He directed several doctoral dissertations and continued his collaboration with Qian. Within the department, he was good-natured, cooperative and a friend to all.

Silverstein is survived by his wife, Anne; his children, Daniel, Matthew and Julie; and four grandchildren.

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