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In Memoriam: Marion Walter, 1928–2021

We are saddened to report that Professor Emerita Marion Walter passed away recently at the age of 92. Marion was a world-renowned mathematics educator and a beloved teacher of teachers of mathematics. She received a master’s degree in mathematics at NYU in 1954 and a Doctorate of Education from Harvard in 1967. She taught high school mathematics while pursuing her master’s degree, was a teaching fellow at Cornell University, taught at Simmons College (where she created the math major), and was an assistant professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where she taught prospective elementary and high school teachers.

Marion came to UO in 1977, where she specialized in the instruction of courses that trained future teachers. She retired in 1994. In her honor the UO Mathematics Department gives out the Marion Walter Future Teachers Award each year to a distinguished graduating senior who is beginning a career in teaching.

In addition to her teaching Marion is known for her wonderful books, such as “The Art of Problem Posing” that she wrote with Stephen Brown and “The Magic Mirror Book” which was aimed at teaching children about symmetry. Her most well-known contribution to mathematics is “The Marion Walter Theorem” (often affectionately just called “Marion’s Theorem”) which concerns the area of the hexagon created when lines are drawn from the vertices of a triangle to the trisection points on the opposite side. Marion was also very interested throughout her life in the connections between math and art.

Marion has her own Wikipedia page, so you can read about her life here:

Marion Walter Wikipedia

There are also good articles about her life at the following links:

Celebrating Marion Walter – and other unsung female mathematicians

MacTutor Biography

Introducing the Marion Walter Collection

Marion was a beloved member of the UO Math Department and will be missed terribly.