Professor Reza Sarhangi’s legacy will live on

It is with our deepest sorrow to inform you that professor Reza Sarhangi passed away on July 1, 2016 from complications following heart surgery in Maryland. Our condolences go out to his beloved wife Mehri Arfaei and his beloved daughters Maryam and Mona.

Professor Reza Sarhangi was a professor of mathematics at Towson University in Maryland. He was also the founder and President of the Bridges Organization, which oversees the annual international conference of Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science.

Sarhangi was a mathematics educator, graphic art designer, drama teacher, playwright, theater director, and scene designer in Iran before moving to the United States in 1986. He completed a PhD in Applied Mathematics, in Control Theory, under the supervision of the late Professor H.W. Wang, at Wichita State University in Kansas.  During his time in Kansas, he taught mathematics and was the Chair of the Mathematics Department at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas (1994-2000).

During 1996-1997, he coordinated a program involving technological applications for mathematical studies. This program was recognized nationwide as one of 20 Innovative Programs Using Technology in Mathematics Service Courses, supported by the Annenberg/CPB Project, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Central Michigan University. In 1997, with the help of a group of students, he wrote and directed a drama entitled “Miracle in Bus Station Number 13” in Winfield, Kansas.  He received the 2000 Campus-wide Fassnacht Exemplary Teaching Award at Southwestern College in April 2000.

At Towson University, Maryland, Reza Sarhangi administered the Graduate Program in Mathematics Education for four years.  In addition to writing more than fifty articles in mathematics and design, Sarhangi was the editor/co-editor of thirteen Bridges peer-reviewed proceedings books.  He was also the author of a textbook in college geometry, Elements of Geometry for Teachers, Pearson.  Sarhangi was one of the founders and an associate editor of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, published by Taylor & Francis in London, UK.

Dr. Sarhangi had a wide range of interests both in mathematics and in mathematics education. He had published articles in mathematics in prestigious journals such as IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Journal of Vibrations and Control, International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, and International Journal of Systems Science. His papers in mathematics education had appeared in the Ohio Journal of School MathematicsJournal of The Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Notes: The Canadian Mathematical Society Journal, Journal of Wisconsin Teacher of Mathematics, and in mathematics magazines such as Math Horizons (the Mathematical Association of America), and Pi in the Sky (the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, Canada).

He was a keynote speaker in places such as the Banff International Research Station in Mathematical Innovations and Discovery, Canada, the London Knowledge Lab, the Hellenic Physics Society of Greece, and the Flemish Royal Academy of Belgium.  His latest field of study was mathematics of Persian architecture and mosaic designs.  His papers in this field had appeared in the Nexus Network Journal: Architecture and Mathematics Online, Journal of the Symmetrion (Symmetry, Culture and Science), Visual Mathematics Journal, and Journal of International Society for Iranian Studies.

Dr. Reza Sarhangi was also the former board member of IACS and coordinator of IACS ‘Persian Poetry and Culture Nights’. Iranian American Cultural Society of Maryland mourns his loss. His legacy will live on.

– IACS Board of Directors

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