Northwestern mathematics prof Steve Zelditch dies at 68


Photo courtesy of Northwestern Now

Mathematics Prof. Steve Zelditch. Zelditch died Sept. 11 after battling cancer.

Mathematics Prof. Steve Zelditch died at the age of 68 on Sept. 11 after battling cancer, Northwestern announced Friday. 

Zelditch, the Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Mathematics, taught at NU for 12 years following a 25-year stint at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

One of Zelditch’s most notable achievements was co-founding the field of quantum chaos, which ties together classical and quantum mechanics. His work impacted fields ranging from complex geometry to probability. 

“Everybody who met Steve was struck by his incredible energy and enthusiasm for mathematics,” mathematics Prof. Ben Weinkove said in a news release. “He was a giant in his field.”

Zelditch’s accolades included the 2013 Stefan Bergman Prize, an invitation to speak at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2002 and a fellowship from the American Mathematical Society. He also authored more than 180 publications and served on the editorial boards of numerous journals. 

“Professor Zelditch was known as an enthusiastic and energetic teacher and mentor,” said Weinberg Dean Adrian Randolph in the release. “He will be fondly remembered by his colleagues and students for his generosity and earnest passion for mathematics.”

Zelditch is survived by his wife, mathematics Prof. Ursula Porod, and their two sons Benjamin and Phillip.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @rjleung7