The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University's schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University's bicentennial in 2017. Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Memoir

Carl M. Pearcy Jr
Regents' Proceedings 18

Carl M. Pearcy, Jr., professor of mathematics, will retire from active faculty status on August 31, 1990, after a most productive career as a teacher and researcher. Born in Beaumont, Texas, Professor Pearcy received his B.A. degree in 1954 and his M.S. degree in 1956 from Texas A and M College. He received his Ph.D. degree from Rice University in 1960. From 1960-61, Professor Pearcy was a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University. He then worked as a research engineer at Humble Oil & Refining Company from 1961-63.

Professor Pearcy came to the University of Michigan in 1963 as a T. H. Hildebrandt Research Instructor. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1964, associate professor in 1966, and professor in 1968. Professor Pearcy has had a very distinguished research career that continues unabated. He has done fundamental work in the study of bounded linear operators on Hilbert space. In early work, he and Arlen Brown determined the structure of those operators, which can be expressed as the commutator of two bounded operators.

In more recent work, he and collaborators developed dual algebra techniques into a powerful tool, which has enabled them to obtain deep and far reaching results on the existence of invariant subspaces, together with other structure theorems for broad classes of operators. A prolific author, Professor Pearcy has published over one hundred articles, two monographs (Some Recent Progress in Operator Theory and, with H. Bercovici and C. Foias, Invariant Subspaces, Dilation Theory and Dual Algebras), and two books [Topics in Operator Theory and Introduction to Operator Theory I (with A. Brown)]. A quiet man, he is quite gregarious when collaborating on research and has had twenty-three different coauthors.

Professor Pearcy has directed twenty doctoral theses and is presently directing three others. He has served on many departmental committees, including the executive committee and the doctoral committee. He served as managing editor of the Michigan Mathematical Journal for seven years, and as chair of the editorial board of Mathematical Reviews for six years. He held many visiting positions in this country and in France, and was a distinguished visiting professor at Bucknell University on several occasions.

The Regents now salute this distinguished mathematician for his dedicated service as a researcher and teacher by naming Carl M. Pearcy, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Mathematics.