Obituaries - News | Article published Thursday, August 8, 2002|
CLIFFORD LONG, 1931-2002
BGSU professor a talented sculptor
BOWLING GREEN - Clifford Long, a mathematics professor at Bowling Green
State University and gifted sculptor who used his talent to help students
visualize math, died of cancer Tuesday in his home here. He was 71.
Long was born April 10, 1931, on the south side of Chicago. His father was
a carpenter, and his influence may have been what first attracted Dr. Long
to math, his son Steven Long said.
"He liked the angles, the measuring, the visual side of life," he said.
high school, Dr. Long took a job as an order checker in the stockyards with
Armour, Inc. He left the stockyards for the University of Illinois at Navy
Pier in Chicago, where he studied math. Later, he transferred to the university’s
Champaign-Urbana campus, where he met his future wife, Patricia Marilyn Cline.
Long obtained his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate in mathematics
from the University of Illinois. He took a teaching position at BGSU in 1959
and taught there for the next 35 years.
"So many people just want to do research and get grants," said his son, Thaddeus Long. "He wanted to teach people to love math."
Long carved the graphical displays of functions - mathematical relationships
often too complex for the average person to visualize - in wood and marble
for his students to see.
"People would see it and say, ‘I always wanted to see what a three-foil [sic: the reporter heard "three-foil", when in fact it's "trefoil"] knot would look like!’" Steven Long said.
Long took a special interest in computer graphics and the visualization of
mathematical ideas. He was a pioneer in bringing the computer into classrooms
at BGSU, and photographs of his sculptures were published in many science
Despite a strong commitment to his work, Dr. Long found
time to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Wheeled Meals, a meal delivery
service he helped found [sic: while he supported my Mom, he wouldn't have wanted to rank as a founder - although she was!].
He was devoted to his family, coaching his children’s baseball teams and singing with his sons in a barbershop quartet.
Surviving are his wife, Patricia Marilyn Long; sons, Steven, Andrew, and Thaddeus, and daughter, Melinda Gedeon.
will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Bowling Green First Presbyterian Church,
where the family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and again
from 1:30 p.m. until the service begins on Saturday. The Dunn Funeral Home
is handling arrangements.
The family requests tributes to the BGSU
Foundation Cliff & Lyn Long Scholarship Fund or to the Presbyterian Church
Foundation Cliff & Lyn Long Local Benevolence Fund.