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In memoriam: Lowell J. Paige, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, 1919 – 2010

Lowell J. Paige

Professor Emeritus Lowell J. Paige died on his birthday in Carmichael, Calif., on Dec. 10. He was 91. Paige served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II from 1942 to 1946. He received his PhD in mathematics in 1947 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Richard Hubert Bruck. Paige’s research interest was abstract algebra. In 1947 Paige joined the faculty of the UCLA mathematics department, where he served as chair from 1964 to 1968. At that time, the Mathematical Sciences Building was being built. Paige added the 5th floor Mathematics Department Reading Room to the building plans and rescued the book collection from the old Institute for Numerical Analysis to establish the reading room. Paige launched his university leadership career with his election as vice-chairman of the Academic Senate in 1966, then chairman in 1968.

He served as the dean of the Division of Physical Sciences in the College of Letters and Science from 1968 to 1973. Paige was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be assistant director of the National Science Foundation in 1973, a position he held for two years before returning to the University of California in 1975 to become special assistant for governmental relations to the president of the UC. Paige retired from UCLA in 1983. From 1983 to1987, he was Gov. George Deukmejian~Rs assistant adviser for higher education. In 1987 he was appointed to a six-year term on the California Postsecondary Education Commission. During his academic career, Paige spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study and a year at Yale University, and held a special Fulbright Award in Australia. Paige published Elements of Linear Algebra in 1961 and a second edition in 1974 with J. Dean Swift. Paige is survived by his wife Betty, sons Michael and Steve, and niece Judy Monaco.