SIAM AG on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions


Extract from OP-SF NET

Topic #7 - OP-SF NET 4.2 - March 15,1997

From: Dick Askey (
Subject: Death of Louis Auslander

Louis Auslander died at 68 on February 25, 1997. His early work was on differential geometry. Later he worked on nilpotent Lie groups, and this led to the study of theta functions. Two of his books are "Abelian Harmonic Analysis, Theta Functions and Function Algebras on a Nilmanifold", Springer, 1975, and "Lecture Notes on Nil-Theta Functions", CBMS lectures published by American Mathematical Society, 1977. His later work was on finite Fourier transforms, which also involves some special functions. His expository paper with Tolimieri: "Is computing the finite Fourier transform pure or applied mathematics?", BAMS (New Series), 1 (1979) 847-897, has been cited frequently, and is worth reading. The first of the books mentioned above is also joint with Richard Tolimieri.

Auslander attended the Oberwolfach meeting on special functions and group theory run by Askey, Koornwinder and Schempp in 1983. He was fascinated by some of the work described there, as were some of us by his work.

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