The Catholic University of America

Aug. 19, 2010

Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Dies at 86

  Parfeny Saworotnow

Following is a statement by L.R. Poos, dean of arts and sciences, about the death of Parfeny Saworotnow, professor of mathematics emeritus.

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Dr. Saworotnow died on Aug. 15 of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

Born in 1924 in the Rostov-on-Don region in Russia, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Graz in Graz, Austria, and then began graduate studies in mathematics at Harvard University, earning a master’s degree in 1950 and a doctorate in 1953. After graduating from Harvard, Saworotnow came to The Catholic University of America, where he became an ordinary professor in the early 1960s, a title he held until his retirement in 1996.

Saworotnow made an indispensable contribution to functional analysis, the theory of Banach algebras, and many other areas of mathematics. His numerous and deep works were published in the world’s leading mathematical journals. A number of important theorems and mathematical objects, such as Saworotnow’s pre-Hilbert A-modules or Saworotnow’s representation theorem on positive definite functions, bear his name.

The mathematics professor was one of the founding fathers and organizer of the CUA seminar in functional analysis and related areas that has been attracting mathematicians from the universities of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area since the 1960s. After his retirement from the faculty, he no longer taught, but he continued his active research as well as his work as one of the seminar organizers.

Saworotnow was a very kind, gentle man and a wonderful colleague. He is survived by his brother and his four nieces.

The Panikhida (the memorial service on the evening before the burial) will be held at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 4001 17th St., N.W., Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The burial service will begin at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Friday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. After the service, the procession will proceed to Rock Creek Cemetery.

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