Obituary: Marie Taris, assistant to math chair, 46


Marie Cendrine Taris, assistant to the chair of the Department of Mathematics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, died after a sudden illness Tuesday, June 2, at St. Mary’s Health Center. She was 46.

Taris joined the math department in April 2003 as assistant to then-chair Steven G. Krantz, PhD. She has been assistant to Chair David L. Wright, PhD, since 2004.

Her other responsibilities in the department included serving as manager of the department’s websites, faculty search and promotion coordinator, and textbooks coordinator.

“We are all saddened by the tragic and sudden death of Marie Taris. She was a valuable employee, a creative staff member, and a dependable assistant to me,” Wright said. “I will miss her greatly.”

A native of Montpellier, France, Taris moved to the United States when she was 15 years old and worked as a nanny.

A concert violinist who taught violin and piano to children in the evenings, she was keenly interested in exploring the topic of creativity in mathematics and the arts.

At various times during her employment in the mathematics department, Taris served in numerous editing positions with mathematical journals and publications, including as associate editor-in-chief of Notices, the American Mathematical Society’s magazine.

From 2003-09, she also served as managing editor of The Journal of Geometric Analysis and on the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications board as an editorial manager. She was also an editorial consultant and managing editor of the Mathematics and Financial Economics.

In 2009, Taris co-edited a book on “The Psychology of the Mathematician” with Krantz and Pete Casazza, PhD, professor of mathematics at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Taris, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Webster University in 1995, published two books: “The Green Violin: Theory, Ear Training, and Musicianship for Violinists” (2012) and “The Greenerings: A Tale of Five Violinists” (2014), a novel to introduce readers to music conservatory life.

As a violinist, she played in numerous orchestras and ensembles both locally, nationally and internationally, including in Europe, Canada and China.

Taris also translated several technical books from French to English for music publisher Mel Bay.

A Mass for Taris was held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on June 17. She is survived by her mother, who lives in France.