Remembering Dr. Richard M. Davitt, Mathematics
Dr. Richard M. Davitt Professor Emeritus of the Department of Mathematics passed away January 17, 2019.
After graduating with a Ph.D. in mathematics from Lehigh University, Dr. Davitt started at UofL as Asst. Professor of Mathematics in 1970, raising to the rank of Professor in 1997 and retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2005. He continued to teach until 2012. Dick helped the department grow from a small teaching oriented program into a Ph.D. granting department while never losing sight of the importance of undergraduate education.
He was very involved in the Honors Program, serving as Acting Director 2003-2004 and continuously teaching in the program. He had developed and taught a very popular Honors Seminar on Math, Art and Music and taught "History of Mathematics: A British Perspective" in London for Honors in 1998. He was active outside the department as well with publications in Algebra, Complex Analysis and later focusing on Mathematics Education and on the History of Mathematics. His Paper "William Marshall Bullitt and His Amazing Mathematical Collection" in The Mathematical Intelligencer (September 1989, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 26–33) attracted the attention of the Bullitt Family and was influential in getting an endowment established for the William Marshall Bullitt Lecture in Mathematics.
Dick was also active in service to his profession and in the period from 1980-83 was first chair elect then chair of the KY section of the Mathematical Association of America. He received many honors for his outstanding service and teaching and always was proudest of his students' accomplishments. We lost a great teacher, mathematician, colleague and friend.