Mathematics Leader and Entrepreneur Robert L. Borrelli Dies at 81

Robert “Bob” L. Borrelli, a longtime faculty member, campus leader and friend of Harvey Mudd College died Sept. 11, 2013 at the age of 81, following a short period of declining health. Borrelli joined the faculty in 1964, taught for 35 years and was active at Harvey Mudd in his retirement, influencing the College’s development in many ways.

“In addition to being an inspiring teacher and colleague, Bob was a driving force in the mathematics field, especially at Harvey Mudd,” said President Maria Klawe. “This is splendidly shown in the 2006 Award for an Exemplary Mathematics Program from the American Mathematical Society, the first such award ever given.”

He was instrumental in the evolution of the Harvey Mudd mathematics program. He served multiple terms as department chair (1975-1977, 1981-1989) and as director (1975-1977, 1978-1980, 1981-1989) of the Mathematics Clinic program. His belief that computers were underused in higher mathematics spurred a new way of teaching differential equations. With his longtime colleague and collaborator Courtney Coleman, professor of mathematics emeritus, Borrelli developed many curricular innovations, including a Differential Equations course that emphasized modeling and visualization using computer software.

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