The Department is saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Cliff Earle
Clifford John Earle Jr., Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, passed away on June 12, 2017 at the age 81 at Hospicare in Ithaca. His wife Elizabeth was by his side. Cliff was a calm and thoughtful presence in the Department for over five decades.
He earned his Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore in 1957 and his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard in 1958 and in 1962 under the direction of Lars Ahlfors. His thesis was titled Teichmüller Spaces of Groups of the Second Kind. A paper of the same title was published in Acta Mathematica in 1964. From 1963 to 1965 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 1965 he became an Assistant Professor and in 1969 Full Professor at Cornell. From 1976 to 1979 he served as Chair of Mathematics. He was the first member of the Department to serve on the newly formed Faculty Senate in 1969.
Cliff was a Guggenheim Fellow, an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a Distinguished Ordway Visitor at the University of Minnesota and Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick.
Ten students earned their Ph.D. under Cliff’s direction. On the occasion of his retirement he reflected on his teaching, taking great satisfaction in his teaching of graduate classes and “…getting a kick out of meeting in upper level classes undergraduates whom I remember from Math 111 or 112.”
He continued to publish well into his retirement and was working towards completing a long-term project with Al Marden.
Cliff had a great interest in music. He was an accomplished pianist and often performed at math spring concerts and accompanied singers. For many years he sang in the Presbyterian Church choir and more recently in the Unitarian Church choir.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Earle and daughters Rebecca Earle and Susan Earle.