Gary Allen Lorden (BS '62), professor of mathematics, emeritus, passed away on October 25, 2023. He was 82.
Lorden was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 10, 1941. He received a BS from Caltech in 1962 and a PhD from Cornell University in 1966. He rejoined the Caltech community as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1968, became associate professor in 1971, and professor in 1977. He retired in 2009.
Lorden's mathematical research involved statistics. He was especially interested in applications to real-world problems and often served as an expert witness in trials. He also served as technical advisor to the show NUMB3RS, which aired from 2005 to 2010. Lorden co-wrote a book inspired by the show, titled "The Numbers behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics," which explains real-life math techniques used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Lorden also served the Caltech community through leadership roles. He was dean of students from 1984 to 1988, vice president for student affairs from 1989 to 1998, and acting vice president for student affairs in 2002. He was executive officer for mathematics from 2003–06. He served as chair of the Athenaeum's Board of Governors from 2010 until his passing.
"I came to know and deeply respect Gary through our shared services in Student Affairs at Caltech, roles in which we served for over 30 years," says Christopher Brennen, the Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus, at Caltech. "Through those connections and the various challenges they involved, I came to know and deeply respect Gary as person and a dear friend. Throughout those years he was, for me, the epitome of empathy, integrity, reliability, and kindness. He was, indeed, a dear, dear friend who also cared deeply for the Caltech students and the Caltech community."
A full obituary will be posted at a later date.