**Professor Edith H. Luchins**

We are sorry to announce the death of Prof. Edith Luchins. She was our visiting professor in D/Math at the U.S. Military Academy during the 1991-1992 academic year while her husband, Abe, worked with the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. We greatly valued Edith's contributions to the department in the areas of mathematics education and the theory of learning mathematics, and Abe is fondly remembered as well. We regret Edith's passing, and we extend our condolences to her family.

Professor Edith H. Luchins was one of the foremost
mathematicians and math educators in America. She was one of the first women
mathematicians in a technical institute like RPI, where she taught for many
years and was a role model and mentor for many other mathematicians. She was
interested in diverse areas of mathematics: number theory, algebra,
cryptography, geometry, modeling, math education, and math history. In the most
recent years her research related mathematics and psychology, often working with
her husband Abe Luchins ("The Einstein-Wertheimer Correspondence on Geometric
Proofs," *The Mathematical Intelligencer*). She worked on mathematical
models for information processing; on sex differences in cognitive processes and
their implications for teaching and learning mathematics; and on the roles of
heuristics and algorithms in mathematical problem solving. She was also
interested in the history of mathematics, and, in particular, the history of
women in mathematics. One of her Ph.D. students was Mary Ann McLoughlin, chair
of the Mathematics Department at the College of Saint Rose, who with Edith
studied the mathematical life of Olga Taussky Todd. Through a NSF grant,
Professor Luchins produced computer graphics material for improving spatial
visualization in mathematics and devised computer projects in Number Theory.
She worked with Chris Arney and Joe Arkin on some applied number theory results
for the Army ("A Function Whose Values are Integers, II," *Transactions of the
Tenth Army Conference on Applied Mathematics and Computing*). She also
developed computer and calculator programs for bringing technology into
pre-college and college mathematics education. She was the Distinguished
Visiting Professor of Mathematics at the United States Military Academy at West
Point in 1991-1992. In addition to teaching cadets DDS and calculus, she was so
taken by the faculty development process at the Academy that she conducted an
analysis and wrote an article about the process ("Preparation for College
Mathematics Teaching: The West Point Model from a Visiting Professor's
Perspective," *Mathematical Association of America Notes Number 35*).
Edith Luchins was energetic and tireless in her efforts to develop students and
faculty, often spending hours with individuals asking for her help and
guidance. While at West Point, she arranged special tutoring sessions for
cadets, often filling the math clinic even weeks before WPRs.

By Chris Arney

Posted 21 November 2002.

Luchins, Dr. Edith
MONSEY, N.Y. -- Dr. Edith H. Luchins, age 80, of Monsey, N.Y., formerly of
Fordham Court in Albany, died Monday, November 18, 2002 at the Good Samaritan
Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. She received her B.A. degree from Brooklyn College in
1942, an M.S. from New York University in 1944 and a Ph.D. from University of
Oregon in 1957. Professor Luchins did research that relates

mathematics and psychology. She had worked on mathematical models of order
effects in information processing; on gender differences in cognitive processes
and their implications for teaching and learning

mathematics; and on the roles of heuristics and algorithms in mathematical
problem solving, with and without the use of computers. She was also interested
in the history of mathematics, and, in particular, the history of women in
mathematics.

Professor Edith H. Luchins was professor of mathematical sciences at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute from 1962 until 2002. She was the first woman to be
appointed full professor at Rensselaer. She attained Emeritus status in 1992,
but continued to be involved in research in the Mathematical Sciences Department
until 2002. She served as the chair of the Faculty Council and was a member of
the Patrons of Rensselaer.

Professor Luchins established the Max Hirsch prize in mathematics in honor of
her father. She spent countless hours advising pre- and post-doctoral students.
She was awarded the Rensselaer Distinguished Teaching Award, the Darrin
Counseling Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award and the Rensselaer Alumni
Association Outstanding Faculty Award. She was distinguished visiting professor
of mathematics at the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1991-1992.
In July 1994 she was appointed adjunct professor of cognitive sciences at the
institute. It is interesting to note that she listed her first employment as
government inspector of Antiaircraft Director, Sperry Gyroscope Company, Long
Island, from 1942-1943.

Dr. Luchins served as past president of the B'nos Israel Mikveh Association in
Albany and was an active member of Congregation Beth Abraham Jacob in Albany as
well as their Sisterhood. She had been the first woman selected to serve on the
board of directors of the Orthodox Union (UOJCA). She was a strong supporter of
the UOJCA's National Conference of Synagogue Youth. She was a founding and
sustaining member of Maimonides Day School in Albany and Chabad Lubavitch of the
Capital District and a friend of Shomrey Torah (Shteibel) of Albany. For many
years Dr. Luchins led a women's Mishna study group in the Capital District.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Abraham Luchins; her children, Dr. David
Luchins of The Bronx, Dr. Daniel Luchins of Chicago, Ill., Rabbi Dr. Yirmiyahu
Luchins of Monsey, N.Y., Dr. Anne Greenfield of

North Hollywood, Calif. and Rabbi Joseph Luchins of Scranton, Pa.; their
spouses; 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She also leaves her
beloved sisters, Pearl Rosbruch of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Helen Nichols of Florida.

Services were held on Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y. with burial in the New Mt.
Carmel Cemetery in Cypress Hills, Queens. Memorial contributions in memory of
Dr. Luchins may be made to Congregation Beth Abraham Jacob, 380 Whitehall Rd.,
Albany, NY 12208 or the B'nos Israel Mikveh Association in c/o Congregation Beth
Abraham Jacob.

Times Union – Friday, November 22, 2002. Posted 25 November 2002.