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Allen A. Goldstein (1925-2022)

Submitted by Rose Choi on March 7, 2022 - 1:29pm
Allen (Al) Abbey Goldstein
Al and Martha Goldstein
Obituary from The Seattle Times
Allen (Al) Abbey Goldstein, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington's Department of Mathematics, died at his home on January 21, 2022. Al was a pioneer in the field of optimization and numerical analysis and made significant contributions in his area of expertise.

On January 7, 1925, Al was born to Joseph and Sophia Goldstein in Baltimore, Maryland. In his youth, his passions were radios, electronics, and Classical music. He was awarded a scholarship in High School to study Flute at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Several years later, he received his Performance Diploma. In 1943, Al attended St. John's College in Baltimore on a full scholarship. He graduated with a B. A. in Liberal Arts in 1947. Also, at this time he developed an interest in programming computers.

Al was accepted to graduate school at Georgetown (Washington, DC) in 1948 to study Astronomy. However, he was now a "family man" and needed to work full-time while pursuing his graduate degrees. During the first three years of Graduate school, Al worked three part-time jobs. In 1951, while writing his Master's thesis, he received a full-time position with the National Bureau of Standard's Applied Math Lab, where he programmed and maintained digital computers. Al received his Master's degree in Astronomy in 1952. Two years later, he completed his PhD from Georgetown University in Astronomy with a minor in Mathematics.

Between 1955-60, Al was doing computation work for General Dynamics. Also, during these years, he taught numerical analysis and advanced calculus at UCLA part-time. Then, in 1963, Al moved his family again to become a research associate at MIT. At that time, he also practiced engineering and consulting for Raytheon and had two research grants from the AFOSR.

In 1963, Al took the position of Associate Professor of Mathematics and Senior Research Mathematician for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Center at the University of Texas (Austin). A year later, he decided to accept the position of Associate Professor at the University of Washington Department of Mathematics. Finally, with the acceptance of his book Constructive Real Analysis for publication by Harper Row in 1965, Al became a full professor.

During his tenure as a Professor, Al taught, consulted, researched, and extensively published. In addition, he gave more than twenty five "invited' addresses at National and International meetings and participated in two extended math lecture series. One was at the Stockholm Institute of Technology; the other was at the USC Distinguished Mathematician Lecture Series.

One of Al's most notable contributions to the development of iterative non-linear optimization is called the "Goldstein Condition". This condition is the method for determining the amount to move along a given search directive when doing a backtracking search.

Al always made the best of all his talents. In 1966, in partnership with fellow UW Math Professor Lutz Bungart, they opened the "Instrument Workshop" in the Fremont District. The purpose of the "shop" was to make and repair early keyboard instruments. Two of the more eclectic instruments they made were the "Electro-acoustic Harpsichord" and the "Keyboard Lute".

In 1973, Al also founded "LP. Pandora Records", a commercial record company that was active for more than ten years or until the advent of the CD. Many of these recordings feature Al's wife, Martha Goldstein, a renowned harpsichordist and pianist, and were recorded by Al in their home on Capitol Hill. Often these recordings reflect a historically informed performance and employ an original period instrument.

Al was a humble man that could be very funny. He also had a "Beatnik persona" and cared less about appearance. Al was most comfortable wearing striped slacks and plaid shirts. He drove cars vernacularly called "Beaters" that would have been towed from the Math Department's faculty parking lot under other circumstances.

Al was revered by his children and adored by his grandchildren. He is survived by five children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Notice of Al's Memorial service will be announced at a later date.
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