Charles Dolph (b. August 27, 1918; d. June 1, 1994).


The University Record, June 6, 1994

Charles L. Dolph, professor emeritus of mathematics, died June 1 at his home here after a long illness. He was 75 years old.

While serving with the U.S. Navy during World War II, Dolph was part of a team of scientists who developed an IFF (“Identification: Friend or Foe”) radar system, which is still used by military and civilian aircraft today. Dolph’s early research on antenna arrays was instrumental to the founding of Hughes Electronics.

Dolph joined the U-M faculty in 1946 as a lecturer in mathematics and research mathematician at the Engineering Research Institute. He was promoted to assistant professor of mathematics in 1947, associate professor in 1954 and professor in 1960. Dolph retired from the U-M in 1988.

His research covered a wide range of problems in applied mathematics—including antenna theory, compressible fluid flow, shock problems, stochastic processes, plasma physics, atmospheric science, scattering theory, singular expansion methods and non-self-adjoint operators.

A native of Ann Arbor, Dolph donated the land for the Dolph Park Nature Area off Wagner Road between Liberty and Jackson to the City of Ann Arbor in 1982. The land was originally owned by his parents.

Dolph received his A.B. degree from the U-M in 1939, his M.A. degree from Princeton University in 1941, and his Ph.D. degree from Princeton in 1944. He was a physicist in the Naval Research Laboratory in 1943–44, an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1944–45, and a member of the technical staff at Michigan Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1945–46.

He was awarded the 1947 J. Browder Thompson Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the 1946 Thompson Prize of the Institute of Radio Engineers. In 1957–58, he spent a sabbatical year at the Technical Universities of Munich and Aachen as a Guggenheim Fellow.

He is survived by his wife, Brita; son and daughter-in-law Lawrence R. Dolph and Lynn M. Nybell; and two grandchildren, Christine and John—all of Ann Arbor.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today (June 6) at the First Congregational Church, 608 E. William.

Memorial contributions may be made to the C.L. Dolph Scholarship Fund. Checks should be made out to the U-M and sent to Ethel Rathbun, Department of Mathematics, U-M, 3220 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1003.