BANGOR – Ali Erhan Ozluk, who was born Sept. 13, 1952, in Denizli, Turkey, and was a professor at the University of Maine Department of Mathematics and Statistics, died March 1, 2012, in Bangor.
He had taught at the University of Maine since September 1987. He also taught at Simon Fraser University, 1986-1987; Bogazici University, Istanbul, 1982-1986; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Professor Ozluk’s area of research expertise was analytic number theory, a branch of mathematics devoted to the study of zeta functions, which encode information about prime numbers – numbers such as 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, etc. that have no non-trivial factors and are distributed somewhat irregularly throughout the integers. He authored or co-authored 18 scholarly journal articles devoted to gaining insights into the distribution of the prime numbers, zeros of zeta functions and applications to problems in statistical mechanics and theoretical physics. His work attracted the attention of world-renowned experts in the field, who noted its great depth and fundamental importance, and led in 1998 to his being honored with an invitation to chair a session and speak at the prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin. Professor Ozluk was an invited lecturer at numerous other venues, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, Calif., and Newton Institute, Cambridge, England. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Bogazici University, Bebek/Istanbul, in 1974, he came to the U.S., earning his Master of Science and doctorate degrees at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1975 and 1982, respectively, under the supervision of Hugh Lowell Montgomery. During his 25-year career at the University of Maine, Professor Ozluk supervised or co-supervised dozens of master and doctoral thesis students, taught just about every mathematics course the department offers from remedial algebra through Advanced Field and Galois Theory, and every fall semester recruited and coached the UMaine team participating in the annual Putnam Mathematics Competition. Students consistently spoke of his great patience with their questions, and colleagues marveled at the breadth of his knowledge and the depth of his insights into areas of mathematics quite remote from his own specialty.
Professor Ozluk is survived by a sister, Fatma Gulgun Ozluk in Izmir, Turkey; three nephews, Mert Alp of Germany, Alphan Alp and Alpkan Alp, both of Turkey; and a niece, Elvan Gunebakan of Turkey. He was predeceased by his parents. He had no relatives in the U.S.
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