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In Memoriam – Mario U. Martelli

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Cal State Fullerton’s 1995-96 Outstanding Professor Mario U. Martelli, professor emeritus of mathematics, passed away Dec. 30. He was 79.

Martelli, who earned his doctorate from the University of Florence in Italy and moved to the U.S. in 1980, taught at CSUF from 1987 until his retirement in 2001. He has been described as a “mathematician’s mathematician,” and former students called him “nothing short of inspirational.”

“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had” is a comment that was repeated on student evaluations.  

His research focused in the area of differential equations, with an emphasis on boundary value problems, and he actively involved his students in research projects. Martelli authored or co-authored several publications and books, including “Discrete Dynamical Systems and Chaos,” and also taught a course on the subject.

The recipient of numerous awards over his 40-plus years of teaching, Martelli was awarded CSUF’s highest faculty honor for his teaching talents and internationally respected research.

“Mario is a truly remarkable teacher. Students adore him, seek him out, follow him around, take his classes in record numbers and seek his counsel on academic and nonacademic matters” his colleagues wrote in his nomination.

Martelli also taught at the University of Florence and Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania before joining the University, and after his retirement from CSUF, taught at various Claremont Colleges; he also lived in Claremont.

He his survived by his wife, Ann, of nearly 45 years; two daughters; a son; and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar, 92625.