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Former MAA President Victor Klee Has Died

Former MAA President Victor Klee Has Died

Victor Klee, who was MAA President from 1971-72, died August 18 at Lakewood Hospital in Lakewood, Ohio. He was professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he had spent nearly his entire career.

Born in San Francisco in 1925, Victor Klee received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1949. Accepting an appointment at the University of Washington in 1953, Klee specialized in convex sets, functional analysis, analysis of algorithms, optimization, and combinatorics. He wrote more than 200 research papers and posed what came to be known as Klee's Measure Problem and the Art Gallery Theorem. In 1990, in honor of Klee's 65th birthday and the broad range of his mathematical interests, Peter Gritzmann and Bernd Sturmfels edited the volume Applied Geometry and Discrete Mathematics, which was published by the AMS.

Klee was the recipient of the MAA's Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics in 1977 and co-author of Old and New Unsolved Problems in Plane Geometry and Number Theory, published by the MAA in 1991. In 1972, he won the Lester R. Ford Award for his article "What Is a Convex Set?" in The American Mathematical Monthly, and, in 1999, the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award for his article (with John R. Reay) "A Surprising but Easily Proved Geometric Decomposition Theorem" in Mathematics Magazine.

Peter Renz, a former MAA Director of Publications, called Klee a "superb mathematician and teacher, and a fine (and very amusing) human being."

News Date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2007