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Remembering Adjunct Professor of Physics at the UM College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Carolyne M. Van Vliet

By UM News

Remembering Adjunct Professor of Physics at the UM College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Carolyne M. Van Vliet

By UM News
Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Carolyne Marina Van Vliet, passed away on Friday, July 15, 2016, in Miami, FL, at the age of 86.
Dr. Carolyne Van Vliet passed away at the
age of 86.

A passionate thinker and scholar, Dr. Van Vliet had a celebrated career in research and teaching, specializing in the areas of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, fluctuations and stochastic processes, quantum transport in condensed matter, and electron behavior in nanoscale quantum devices. 

Born in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, Dr. Van Vliet earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics in 1949, an M.A. in physics in 1953, and a Ph.D. in physics in 1956 from the Free University of Amsterdam. She moved to Minneapolis, MN, where she became professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1956, and from 1969 to 1995, she was professor of Theoretical Physics and a Senior Research Member at the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) at the Université de Montréal, in Montreal, Quebec.  

She subsequently moved to Miami where she was a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida International University and, most recently, adjunct physics professor at the UM College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Joshua L. Cohn, professor and chairman in the Department of Physics at the UM College of Arts and Sciences, recalls her contributions to his department with great fondness. “When I was serving as our graduate program advisor several years ago, Carolyne would regularly visit my office to let me know how the first- or second-year graduate students were performing in her class on statistical mechanics” he said. “She would mention the students by name, characterizing their effort in her class and their level of understanding. These interactions revealed the impressive clarity of her insights about each student as well as her dedication to their education. And let's not forget she was in her 80s teaching from a graduate-level textbook she had just recently published!”

Author of over 200 scientific publications, including a recent graduate textbook Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics, Dr. Van Vliet shared her extensive contribution to the field, which earned her recognition by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) where she was elected as a Fellow in 1991, and later as a Life-Fellow in 1996. In 2010, she was further honored by being elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Van Vliet lived a life of joy, courage, and compassion, and she will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and colleagues. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 29, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Caballero Rivero Woodlawn South, 11655 SW 117TH Ave. Miami, FL, 33186. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2016, at 1 pm at Christ the King Church, 3801 SW 97th Ave., Miami, FL, 33165.


July 27, 2016