In memoriam: Tsuneo Tamagawa, renowned for mathematics research

Tsuneo Tamagawa
Tsuneo Tamagawa

Tsuneo Tamagawa, the Andrew W. Phillips Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, died in New Haven on Dec. 30 at the age of 92.

Tamagawa was widely known in the mathematics field for his fundamental contributions to research on the arithmetic aspects of classical groups, which involve mathematical theories having their roots in geometry. Perhaps his most celebrated achievement was his synthesis of the so-called “Tamagawa Number,” which opened new areas of thought in a field that had been worked over heavily by number theorists for generations. His articles on mathematical theory were published in journals in both Japan and the United States.  

Tamagawa was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1925, the son of Hisao and Miyo Tamagawa. He received his Ph.D. from Tokyo University in 1954 and taught there from 1950 to 1962. In the United States he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University. He joined the Yale University faculty in 1963 and was appointed to the Phillips Professorship in 1976.

He was married to the late Kimiko Kōzu Tamagawa. He is survived by his children: Kiyoshi (of Austin, TX), Takashi (of North Haven, CT), Satoshi (of Kawasaki, Japan), Sahoko (of Berkeley, CA), and Emiko (of Attleboro, MA); and by his grandchildren Hisayuki and Rieko Tamagawa (of Kawasaki) and Mira and Leo Gordon (of Berkeley, CA). He is also survived by his sisters Kazuko Kobayashi and Nobuko Shimada, and his brother Shinji Tamagawa (of Tokyo, Japan). He was predeceased by brothers Hajime Tamagawa and Tetsuo Tamagawa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Audubon Society in Tsuneo Tamagawa’s honor.

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