Percy F. Smith Professor of Mathematics Orszag dies

Steven Alan Orszag, the Percy F. Smith Professor of Mathematics at Yale, died on Sunday, according to an announcement from the university. Orszag was 68 years old.

“Steve was a pioneer in applied and computational mathematics, high-performance computing and, more recently, novel approaches to mathematics education,” said John Wettlaufer, Professor of Applied Mathematics and colleague of Orszag, in the release. “Vast areas of the landscape of thought have lost a brilliant thinker and a wise advisor.”


Orszag worked with applied and computational mathematics, with a focus on fluid mechanics. The late professor developed the first successful computer simulations of three-dimensional turbulent flows and also developed simulations for the manufacturing of computer chips, which have been used throughout the industry.

Orszag joined the Yale faculty in 1999, after spending time teaching at MIT and Princeton. The professor received his B.S. in Mathematics from MIT at age 19 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in Astrophysics, which he completed in three years.

Outside of Yale, he was a chief scientific adviser to a number of companies, including Flow Research, Ibrix (now part of HPQ), Vector Technologies, and Exa Corp.

Over his career, Orszag had been awarded six patents and had written over 400 archival papers.

Born in New York City, Orszag is survived by his wife of 47 years, Reba; his sons Michael, Jonathan, and Peter; and his sister Myrna Baron.

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