Applied Mathematics

The Passing of Wendell H. Fleming, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics and Mathematics

Professor Wendell H. Fleming passed away on February 18, 2023. Professor Fleming received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1951. After holding positions at the RAND Corporation and Purdue University, he joined the faculty of Brown University in 1958. Professor Fleming served on numerous University committees. In particular, he was a member and chair of the Faculty Policy Group (precursor of the present Faculty Executive Committee) in 1970-1972, which was a period of transition for the University, marked by the implementation of the New Curriculum, the adoption of the New Medical Educational Program, etc. He chaired the Mathematics Department at Brown from 1965-1968 and the Division of Applied Mathematics from 1982-1985 and 1991-1994. In 1995, he became University Professor Emeritus.

Professor Fleming was a pioneer in the areas of geometric measure theory, stochastic control theory, differential games, and related topics in the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations. Professor Fleming also worked extensively on risk-sensitive control theory and measure-valued Markov stochastic processes, including applications to mathematical finances. He authored or co-authored more than 130 publications, including seven books. Fleming was very supportive of his younger colleagues, and active in mentoring of graduate students and postdocs for more than 20 years after retiring.

Fleming received many awards and honors, including an NSF Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the AMS Steele Prize, and the SIAM Reid Prize. He was a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Fleming also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue University.