OFFICE OF THE CHAIR - DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS
February 11, 2019
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas Enright, professor emeritus of mathematics, who passed away January 27, 2019, after several years of battling Parkinson's Disease. He was 71 years old.
Enright became a member of the Department of Mathematics at UC San Diego in 1977. He served as department chair from 1986 to 1992. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University and defended his Ph.D. thesis under the direction of Ramesh Gangolli at the University of Washington in 1973. He was a Hedrick Assistant Professor at UCLA from 1973 to 1976, and he received a Sloan Fellowship in 1978.
Enright's research was marked with originality, surprising methods and technical virtuosity. He was a leader in the study of representations of reductive groups, a field with applications to number theory and physics. His first major work was a pathbreaking paper with Veervalli Varadarajan describing a new class of representations now known as Enright-Varadarajan Modules. These representations led to the solution of several problems related to Harish-Chandra's discrete series including an algebraic construction.
His next major achievement was a classification of the irreducible, admissible representations of semi-simple Lie groups. This work was done independently of and simultaneously with David Vogan and Gregg Zuckerman. It provided an alternate route to the so-called Vogan-Zuckerman classification. Enright also gave the first algebraic proof of Blattner's Conjecture.
In 1980, Enright, working with Roger Howe and Nolan Wallach, derived a classification of positive energy unitary representations (unitarizable highest weight modules). This work has played an important role in conformal field theory. His later research involved the study of differential equations related to those representations with Mark Davidson and Ronald Stanke and also work with Markus Hunziker, Jeb Willenbring and Nolan Wallach delving into the fine structure of these representations.
Enright is survived by his wife Elizabeth Enright, his son James, his daughter in-law Natalie Enright, his sister Jane Oswitt and his brother-in-law Richard Oswitt. His funeral was held in Concord, New Hampshire, Friday, Feb. 8, 10.00 a.m. Viewing at Bennett Funeral Home. 3 Church St. Concord, NH; 11:30 a.m. Burial at Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord, NH.
Those wishing to honor Thomas Enright's memory can make a donation to the Department of Mathematics, General Funds (R-57104), in the name of Thomas Enright. Checks should be made payable to "UC Regents," with the appropriate fund number placed in the memo line and mailed to:
UC San Diego Gift Processing