David Rosen, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Swarthmore College, and long time resident of Swarthmore, PA, died Sunday August 24, 2003 at the age of 82 from complications associated with lymphoma. Dr. Rosen was born in New Haven, CT in 1921, the son of eastern European immigrants. He attended New York University during the early forties, completing his degree in Mathematics in 1942, and served in World War II from 1943-1946. He received his PhD in Mathematics in 1952 from the University of Pennsylvania, and immediately joined the faculty of Swarthmore College, where he taught until his retirement in 1987. He served as Chair of the Mathematics Department at Swarthmore from 1969-76. During his tenure at Swarthmore, Dr. Rosen took research and teaching sabbaticals at the University of Glasgow, Scotland on a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1962), King’s College, University of Cambridge on a National Science Foundation Fellowship (1968), University College, Cork, Ireland on a Fulbright Fellowship (1972), University of Essex, England (1977), and Temple University (1981). After his retirement he spent a term pursuing his research at the University of Warwick, England (1988). He maintained an active scholarly interest in the field of Number Theory, publishing on the subject of Continued Fraction Expansions well into his retirement. Dr. Rosen was also the co-author, with the late Professor Edgar Mullins, of three textbooks on calculus and probability.
Eugene Klotz, Buffington Professor of Mathematics at Swarthmore College and long-time colleague, noted that “David had a life-long love affair with Number Theory, and his legacy lives on in a continued fraction which bear his name (‘Rosen Continued Fraction’).”
He was well loved by the entire campus community for his infectiously jovial personality, keen wit, and compassion for others.
Throughout his life, Dr. Rosen was a passionate music lover and amateur musician himself. His father, who was a professional violinist and cantor, gave him his first lessons on violin, but his true love was the double bass. He played the bass for fifty years in the Swarthmore College Orchestra and frequently performed with local symphonies and chamber groups. He had broad musical interests, and in recent years served on the board of Orchestra 2001, an ensemble that specializes in contemporary classical music.
Dr. Rosen is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Gloria, brother Ellsworth of Brookline, MA, sons Carl, Ralph, Paul, and Michael, and ten grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private, but a memorial service is planned at Swarthmore College for the Fall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Lymphoma Research Foundation, 111 Broadway, New York, NY 10006 or to Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081.