Mario Umberto Martelli

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Mario Umberto Martelli was born in Florence, Italy in 1937, and passed away on December 30, 2016. He received his Ph.D. in Differential Equations from the University of Florence, Italy and spent well over 40 years teaching mathematics as an expert in discrete and continuous dynamical systems and chaos theory.

His enthusiasm for teaching and mathematics was apparent to all, and he received several awards for his academic contributions including the Outstanding Professor Award from California State University, Fullerton, the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Southern California Section of the Mathematical Association of America and the Certificate for Meritorious Service Award from the Mathematical Association of America. Mario combined his love of travel and teaching and taught in England, Germany, Italy, Colorado, Pennsylvania and at a number of educational institutions in California, including at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont McKenna College, and Claremont Graduate University.

Mario is survived by his wife Ann and they were about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, daughter Monica (Mike) Quinn, son Edward (Tamy) Martelli, daughter Lisa (Daniel) Staggs and his loving grandchildren, Isla, Kellen and Emmelyn. Mario was a devoted husband, adoring father and grandfather and lit up every room with his infectious smile, warm heart and boisterous laugh.


  • Funeral Service Monday, January 9, 2017

Mario Umberto Martelli

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Leandro Recova

January 18, 2017

I was happy to take a course in Degree Theory with Prof. Martelli at his home in Claremont. Will never forget he said "Vete bambino (Common boy)". God bless you. (Leandro Recova, CGU'14).

Timothy Haves

January 8, 2017

I was honored to know him as a neighbour for 15 years. I had the utmost respect for him and gratitude for the work he put into our little community in Laguna Beach.

On behalf of all of us at Aliso Community I send condolences and prayers for Ann and the family

Arthur Thiele

January 6, 2017

Mario was a kind friend and neighbor. His contributions to our small, Laguna homeowner's association were integral to operations and maintenance of the property. His support, both intellectual and emotional, came with no strings and much enthusiasm. I found his (and Ann's) help invaluable during the years I was involved in management of our Association. Mario and I also shared our love of teaching mathematics. Mario was eager to help with out of the way sites while visiting in Rome. His suggestions made for many wonderful days of exploration in the eternal city. My love and condolences to the family of Mario Martelli.

Diana Thomas

January 4, 2017

Mario lives through the many students he shaped by instilling his incredible passion for mathematics and his generosity. Mario developed the Mathematical Association of America's Undergraduate Research Poster Session from 13 submissions to now over 300 submissions (the most highly attended session at the Joint Mathematics Meetings which is underway right now). His legacy is us...the hundreds of students and young faculty who he not only worked with but taught us all that is good about being a mentor to someone. I met Mario in 1998 when I showed up as a mentor at his poster session. His eyes began to sparkle as he discussed open problem after open problem and I was hooked. He invited me to come work and stay with him for a week. Here he taught me that there is more than mathematics. Family and kindness form a necessary part of our profession. He was always delighted that I brought my kids with me to conferences. There are not too many mathematicians my family personally knows so well. My children absolutely love him and my mother always says children know who the best people are automatically.

Irene & Dik Jones

January 4, 2017

Mario was the best Professor who became a good friend. He always lit up the room with his infectious smile & laughter. He shall always have a special place in our hearts. With great sadness, we offer our deepest sympathies. Irene & Dik Jones.

Elizabeth Kirkeby

January 4, 2017

"Mario was all heart. I will miss him deeply. I have many fond childhood memories that he was part of. He was a wonderful example. I send my love to his family."

Gregory Stein

January 3, 2017

Mario was a great friend and wonderful company. I'm going to miss him.

All my love -- Greg Stein