Brian Parshall, Friend, Colleague, and Master Algebraist

Brian Parshall

Our friend and colleague Gordon Whyburn Professor of Mathematics Emeritus Brian Parshall passed away unexpectedly on January 17th, 2022.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I write to you with sad news. Our friend and colleague Brian Parshall passed away unexpectedly Monday morning (January 17th, 2022) from a non-COVID illness. He was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday, where he suffered several seizures from which he never recovered.

Brian Parshall earned his PhD in mathematics from Yale in 1971. After completing two years of service in the United States Army, he joined the Uva Department of Mathematics in 1972 as an Assistant Professor. He became a full professor in 1983, and in 1996 he became the Gordon Whyburn Professor of Mathematics. As Chair of the department from 1993-1999, he shaped the department in that decade and beyond. Always an advocate of the highest academic standards in the faculty, he was also generous with service to the department. He returned as chair from 2010-2012. In 2012 he was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Especially noteworthy are Brian’s research collaborations. One famous collaboration, known as CPS, for Edward Cline, Brian Parshall, and Leonard Scott, created its first joint research publication at Uva in 1972-73. Brian’s research was in representation theory and the cohomology of algebraic and quantum groups, as well as of finite dimensional Lie and associative algebras. He published over 100 articles and mentored 9 Ph.D. students, and he helped found the annual Southeastern Lie Theory conferences.

Brian’s passing is a major loss to our and the wider mathematics community.

With sadness, Ken Ono UVa Mathematics Chairman

PS. To celebrate and honor his life, Karen has noted that Brian would have welcomed donations in his memory to

  • BROOD = Basset Rescue of Old Dominion (Website The donation button is at the end of the site).
  • Hospice of the Piedmont. They were incredibly kind and caring. (Website: and the donation button is at the top).

Last updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2022