News of the College Feb. 2001

Lloyd B. Williams, 1913-2000

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Lloyd B. Williams ’35, professor emeritus of mathematics, died on November 19 at age 87. As former chair of the mathematics department at Reed, Williams was praised for his overall enrichment of the curriculum and dedication to making math accessible and enjoyable for all. In particular, he worked to modernize the freshman mathematics course, imbuing it with new life and steadily developing it over three decades. Williams joined the Reed faculty in 1947 as associate professor of mathematics, after having previously taught at Georgia Tech and Hamilton College. He continued a distinguished teaching career at Reed until he retired in 1980. The Lloyd Williams Scholarship Fund was established to honor his many contributions and excellence as a professor. His love of Reed was readily apparent, and he once wrote of it as a place “to nurture one’s own curiosity and tenacity in company with students and experienced teachers who do not quail at lofty aims.”

With his great passion for teaching, Williams’s dedication often extended far beyond Reed. For several summers in the late fifties, he taught as a visiting professor at Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He also worked as a teacher for Gifted Child and National Science Foundation workshops, helping secondary school teachers refine and improve their skills. Williams was a board member for both the American Association of University Professors and the Math Association of America. With the Committee on Educational Media, he made several films about famous mathematicians, and, at Princeton, he helped write the math SAT section for many years. After retirement, Williams continued to volunteer, reading texts to blind students and driving forMeals-on-Wheels.

Williams was born in Corvallis, Oregon, on September 28, 1913, and attended West Linn High School. He graduated from Reed in 1935 in mathematics and was a Rhodes Scholar alternate. At the University of Chicago Williams earned his M.S. and also studied for his doctorate in mathematics. He was a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying small planes, both locally and abroad, with his son Bayard (now deceased).

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; his daughter, Nanah; and five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.






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