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Charles S. Kahane (1934-2013)

Charles S. Kahane joined Vanderbilt University’s Department of Mathematics in the fall semester of 1969 as an associate professor, after receiving his B.A. and Ph.D. from New York University in 1955 and 1962, respectively. In 1984, he was promoted to professor, a rank he held until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1998.

Kahane’s research contributions varied among several fields including integral equations, applied mathematical analysis, and partial differential equations. Best known for his research on reaction-diffusion partial differential equations, he developed a now widely used method to estimate the growth of the solutions of these equations as time evolves. Reviewers of Kahane’s research have characterized it as particularly original and distinguished.

At Vanderbilt, Kahane was a freshman advisor and served on the Academic Standards Committee, Learning Resources Committee, Graduate Faculty Council, Faculty Council, and the Committee on Individual Programs. Within the Department of Mathematics, he served as director of graduate studies from 1984 to 1987 and was a member of several departmental committees, including the Graduate and Undergraduate Program Committees.

In addition to his research contributions, Kahane will be remembered fondly as an excellent teacher. He prepared his lectures in great detail, and he offered a smooth, informative presentation to his students. Kahane’s contributions to the Department of Mathematics will not soon be forgotten. His research contributions to the mathematical world will continue to benefit scholars in the near and distant future. Kahane passed away on May 23, 2013.