Mathematician Kenneth Cooke dies at 82

September 9, 2007

Kenneth Cooke, a mathematician who became a well-known researcher while teaching at a California liberal arts college, has died at age 82.

Cooke suffered from a brain tumor, The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. He died Aug. 25 at his home in Claremont, Calif.

Known for his work in the mathematics of epidemiology and as the founder of a mathematical area known as delay differential equations, Cooke was the author of 10 textbooks and 100 articles. He helped work out the parameters of the AIDS epidemic.

Sandy Grabiner, a colleague in the math department at Pomona College, said teaching math at a liberal arts college and doing math research are both difficult.

"To do both is amazing," Grabiner told the Times. "And he combined this with a kind of good sense (and) modesty.

"You wouldn't know how good he was unless you knew how good he was, because he wasn't going to tell you."

A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the United Church of Christ in Claremont.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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