Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
I am writing to share the sad news that Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Emeritus Larry Knop P’04 died Saturday at his home on Griffin Road following an extended illness.
Larry earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1962, his master’s degree from the University of Miami in 1964, and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1973. After appointments at Southern Illinois University and the University of Texas at Austin, he came to College Hill as an assistant professor in 1977 and established a reputation as a “clear, caring, supportive, engaging, encouraging, [and] funny professor.” He retired officially in 2013, but continued to teach occasionally at Hamilton and as part of the Mohawk Consortium College in Prison Program.
Students recall their courses with Larry fondly. “I love Professor Knop,” said one. “[N]ot only is he a great professor, but he is also extremely helpful. He ALWAYS makes himself available to students for questions on assignments or the material.” Another student described him as a “great person, always here for his students, very funny and patient,” and a colleague called him “kind” and “dedicated to his students.”
Larry took his responsibility as a teacher seriously, but he had an easygoing style. He described his textbook, Linear Algebra: A First Course with Applications, as “a great textbook, easy reading (well, relatively easy), with jokes.” Students appreciated the presentation. “I even read his textbook to my friends who aren’t in his class,” said one student, “because it’s funny and interesting to read.”
In addition to service as chair when the mathematics department included computer science, he regularly attended undergraduate mathematics conferences with his students and advised them on their research. A department colleague once described him as “a versatile mathematician whose interests are wide and varied,” and “a reliable, committed departmental citizen who steps in to help with whatever is needed.” I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with Larry last year at the dinner for emeriti/ae faculty; our community has lost a devoted teacher and a caring and good-humored colleague.