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Warwick Farewell - James Eells 1926-2007

First published in CommUnicate issue 316.

James Eells, Warwick’s first Professor of Analysis in the Department of Mathematics, died in February.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Professor Eells moved to Britain in the late sixties. He was invited to run a small symposium at Warwick in the summer of 1967 and joined the Mathematics department as its first Professor of Analysis in 1969.

In 1971-1972, he organised the highly successful year-long Warwick symposium ‘Global Analysis’ and in 1976-1977, ‘Geometry of the Laplace Operator’. To a large extent, these introduced novel mathematics to Britain and together with his many connections abroad, attracted PhD students and research fellows to study with him.

From 1986, he became the first Director of the Mathematics Section at the Trieste International Centre for Theoretical Physics, a position he held until 1992, on partial secondment from Warwick. His research activities remained strong and another year-long symposium ‘Partial Differential Equations in Differential Geometry’ took place at Warwick in 1989-90.

Professor Eells retired from Warwick in 1992, and moved to Cambridge, but continued to work on harmonic maps and to travel abroad to discuss mathematics.

His final monograph, Harmonic Maps between Riemannian Polyhedra, co-authored with Danish mathematician B Fuglede, was published in 2001.