Douglas Edward Iannucci Ph.D

Date of Passing:

October 15, 2020

Douglas Edward Iannucci, Ph.D., age 64, passed away on October 15, 2020. He was born in Providence, RI and was a resident of East Providence, RI before moving and residing on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands for the last 30 plus years.

Douglas graduated LaSalle Academy in Providence class of ’74. He attended Northeastern University, majoring in Mathematics. Thereafter, he served four years in the U.S. Navy being honorably discharged at an E5 rank. After the Service, Douglas attended University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He then joined the Peace Corps and embarked on an assignment to the Republic of Togo, West Africa, as a mathematics teacher in the lycée.

Upon his return to the U.S., Douglas attended Temple University where he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics. He then accepted a position as Mathematics Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands where he was tenured. He was published numerous times in various Mathematical Journals over the years. During a sabbatical in Rhode Island, he taught at Brown University for one semester.

Douglas was truly a free spirit that enjoyed the nature and beauty of St. Thomas. He was an avid daily swimmer and fitness enthusiast. He dabbled in many other endeavors. He enjoyed cartooning and his talents resulted in being published in many newspapers, as well as having his comic books for sale at local shops. While in RI, he created a college radio personality and for years he was well known as Mr. Beautiful. He tried his hand at acting and had roles in many plays at the University of Virgin Island. He loved to go to a local coffee shop and performed various readings at their open mic nights. He hosted his own Mathematics radio show on a local Island broadcast. He took extreme pride in his trivia knowledge on any subject matter. He made his dream come true of owning and living on a sailboat. But his most important love was mathematics and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with his students. He was well known and loved on the Island and he had a big heart and was always willing to help someone in need.

Douglas was the son of the late Albert and Antonette Iannucci of East Providence, RI. He is survived by his three sisters, Francine Brelsford and husband Wayne; Marie Conheeny and husband Peter; Carolyn Lombardi and husband David Sampson, all residents of East Providence, RI. He was the uncle of Jessica Brelsford, the late Nathan Brelsford, Matthew Conheeny, Michael Conheeny and Meghan Conheeny, and was great uncle of 6 nephews and 1 niece.

A Celebration of Doug’s Life will be held on Saturday November 21, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the W. Raymond Watson Funeral Home, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside. Calling Hours are 12-2 p.m. The guidelines set forth by the Rhode Island Department of Health will be observed. Face coverings are required and only ten people will be allowed in the building at a time.

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33 Comments

  1. I knew Doug as the quiet, unassuming math geek who would drop off his weekly center spread – The Free Page – for the Great Swamp Gazette, a student magazine at the University of Rhode Island. His work, two pages of comics satirizing everything and anything, was always hilariously spot on – pure genius. Every deadline, we would cluster in the small Gazette office, waiting for Doug to saunter in, big wide smile, not saying much, dropping of next issue’s installment of The Free Page. This was the early 80’s, the beginning of political correctness, and Doug’s work laid bare the hypocrisy that flourishes to this day. A comic genius who loved math. That was the Doug I barely knew.

    I just learned of Doug’s death, and having not gotten to know him like others, I feel sad. I was just lamenting about a month ago to a friend, a former arts editor at the Gazette, how badly we needed Doug and his Free Page with all that’s going on in the world. What terrible irony.

    My condolences to all who knew and loved Doug.

  2. I was one of Dr. Iannucci’s students at the University of the Virgin Islands. I always looked up to him because that man was brilliant. I would affectionately call him “the Legend of Zahlentheorie”. HE was the reason I chose Mathematics as a major for my undergraduate degree. His love for mathematics ignited the fire in me to pursue this discipline even when it got challenging. I could always ask him about any mathematics question even if it went beyond the scope of the course or even when the course was not offered at the university. He will be missed! I express my deepest condolences to the family and friends. I hope you all can find peace knowing that he is in a better place.

  3. What a gem. Doug was a wonderful man, deep in his subject, widely read in all areas, happy to engage in all kind of intellectual discourse. I loved his irreverence and eccentricity. I asked him why he as wearing a T shirt with a hole. “I picked it out special to go to a meeting with senior administration.” He loved being tenured and free to explore his domain. Give him a number and he will digress on it for hours. His radio show was a delight. He was a showman in so many ways. he stayed with me here in Princeton for a week this last spring. Covid was new and we stay around the house for a full week just exploring ideas. Laugh, then serious math, then some other wild idea. Doug was a wonderful free spirit.

  4. Doug was a friend, colleague, and fellow Rhode Islander. I will miss him, his wit and wisdom and friendship. “And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

  5. There is so much I can say about Dr. Iannucci. As a student he instilled in me a love for Number Theory. I enjoyed the many hours sitting in his office taking in the smell of coffee and talking about numbers, hours spent on his boat playing memory games, having breakfast a Tickles, singing reggae music
    My Dr. Iannucci. He will be greatly missed. His legacy will live on in the many of us that he has touched.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about Dr. Iannucci’s passing. He was a wonderful mentor and one of the main reasons I am so passionate about mathematics and mathematics teaching. He was always kind, encouraging, and excited about his Erdos number. I hope I made him proud. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

  7. Doug will be sorely missed at UVI. He was the epitome of a scholar- his love of mathematics infused everything he did and he shared it with everyone and his interests ranged far and wide. He had an original and creative perspective on life- you never knew where a conversation would go when speaking with him. He was greatly appreciated by his students who formed a constant stream to his office. He will be greatly missed but memories of his contributions will continue on. Condolences to his family.

  8. I will always remember the interesting conversations Doug and I would have as he emerged from the ocean on his daily swims in Brewers Bay. He was full of life, with a joyful smile, and his crazy antics would make me laugh and shake my head. You will be missed. My condolences to his great many friends and family.

  9. He had such a burning passion for Math. He would always make me smile, rest in peace you will be missed.

  10. Dear Carolyn and Family, Noel and I wish to offer our sincere condolences on the loss of your brother. He must have been a remarkable person! May you remember all the blessings and memories of a life well lived. May he rest in the arms of the angels, and may his soul rest in peace!

  11. I have known Doug since elementary school at St. Brendan’s School. He was a big favorite because he could draw a perfect map of the United States, and was amazing in math even as an elementary student. He was very kind to my son in law, who is getting his PhD in heavy math also. He was an interesting guy. He will be missed by many

  12. What a lovely man — both lighthearted and soulful! Iannucci’s passing is a huge loss — especially to students who loved him.

    Condolences to his family and friends.

  13. Dr. Doug was pure love, grace, intellect, creativity and talent – and willing to share it all with anyone and everyone. What an incredible blessing it was to have shared his kindness and gifts so many times in the Little Theatre and beyond. Somehow, “Mr. Beautiful” just fits. Such a huge personality. The world is already smaller without you, Doug. You made an incredible and indelible impression on us all.

  14. As a Chemistry and Physics major at the university of the Virgin Islands, I took 5 claases with Doug. Over the years, our relationship grew from Student/Professor to mentor/mentee to colleagues, and later friends. He was one of the individuals that was responsible for me pursuing a career in mathematics. I am very saddened by the lost of our beloved Dr Iannucci. My heart and sincere condolences goes out to all those in mourning. May you rest in peace Doug!

  15. This is such sad news, Dr. Iannucci was always so helpful when ever I had math questions. I also enjoyed sharing the stage with him at the UVI little theater. My condolences to his family, he will be greatly missed.

  16. After Hurricane Irma destroyed the Marine Science Building I was allowed to camp out in Doug’s office because he was in the states on sabbatical. I didn’t have much room because his office was so full of things but I had a daily dose of Doug from seeing all the things in his office from the huge number of books (not all about math) to the humorous things that appealed to a unique sense of humor to the awards for acting and mentoring students. I was amazed at how many students and alumni came by to see him. Then of course there was the trail of mathematics that he left on every chalkboard wherever he went. He will be missed.

  17. Doug brought life to mathematics, and would share the joy with anyone in his path. He was the same with students, as he was with his colleagues–genuine, witty, insightful and thoughtful. We celebrated many milestones with Doug in our years at UVI: our children’s birthdays, Thanksgivings, math picnics, daily swims, etc. He was an integral part of our VI family.

    We will miss seeing you walking joyfully to UVI. We will miss your mathematical joy. Students will not experience the wonders of having you as the person that turned them on to mathematics. We will no longer enjoy your seminars–which was always something you were working on. You made a difference in many lives. We are glad you were part of ours.

  18. I have been blessed to have Dr. Iannucci as a professor. My passion for math grew when he was my instructor, which led me to change my track from engineering to study pure math. He definitely had a free and genuine personality. The world has lost another genius.

  19. I understand that Doug was considered a brilliant mathematician, but as a colleague at UVI I especially remember and enjoyed his eccentricity, humor and the manner in which he effortlessly crossed (some would say the great) divide between the sciences and humanities. He often participated in open mic poetry events – Poetry and Conversation at L’Hotel Boynes and the Rock Lounge that I organized — where he would present pithy poems on numbers, e.g., Pi or the number 13. Then there were his roles in UVI Theatre productions and the infamous cartooning class he taught one summer. Hey, Doug, You will be missed.

  20. I really liked Dough🌹🌹

  21. Ooh Doug I am so happy that I have many special memories of you in the many roles you played in quite a number of the University of the Virgin Islands’ Little Theatre productions. Your wonderful presence will forever remain there and in my heart ❤️👌🏾😏.

  22. Douglas Iannucci was an excellent mathematician and an inspiring teacher; there are several young mathematicians today brought to the field via his mentoring and his friendship. He was a fine actor, too, and an all-around good guy. I miss him already.

  23. This is a shock to the UVI community. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. In addition to being one of my favorite professors, I was fortunate to share the theater stage with him at the UVI small theater. His spirit lives on. RIP Doc.

  24. Wow I am truly saddened by this news Dr. Iannucci was the one of the best math teachers in the world. He devoted his time to truly make sure you understand. With his vast knowledge no question could stump him. May his soul rest in peace

  25. Wow Doug will be sorely missed at UVI. I was lucky enough ti know him since he first arrived. Having my office next to the water, I’d see Doug most days coming for a daily swim. Always cheerful and loving what he did for work and for play. He loved the water, he loved math – of any type. Truly a person to admire in his sureness and his enthusiasm for what he loved. I will miss you Doug and your smile either heading into or out of the ocean!

  26. I knew and worked with Dr. Iannucci as a friend, colleague, and a very valuable member of the the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UVI, on which I served as Chair. His deep love for mathematics was felt particularly when he taught Number Theory over which he was passionate. He enthusiastically shared his mathematical knowledge with students outside of the classroom also, as he mentored for competitions and research projects. A calm, friendly, brilliant mathematician… his passing is a loss and he will be greatly missed. May he rest peacefully.

  27. I am extremely saddened about the passing of Prof. Iannucci. His vast knowledge of mathematics and other subjects were a true inspiration for me. He’s the main reason why I chose to pursue mathematics, in particular number theory. Words can’t begin describe the significance of the influence he exerted on me, for which I am extremely grateful. To those mourning Prof. Iannucci’s transition, my deepest and most sincere condolences.

  28. For many years, after teaching a class on the third floor of the CAB, I would drop by Doug’s office. Often we could chat only for a few minutes – enough for a quick update, talk about music or art, UVI politics, and even math. It always ended with a good laugh. Often something would make Doug and I laugh – an absurdism or unintended pun, while others looked at us strangely. I will miss that and I will miss Doug’s warm company. May he rest in peace among the infinite numbers.

  29. I met Dr. Iannucci in the summer of 2007, I think. He came to St. Croix to teach an Abstract Algebra course to the first cohort of the Masters in math education for secondary school teachers. Abstract Algebra was my biggest struggle while doing my BSc in Math a some years earlier. That summer through Iannucci’s patient teaching I finally began to unravel the mysteries of abstract algebra and appreciate the art and beauty of mathetical proofs. He gifted me a book on proofs which I still have. I will always remember him as a peaceful, kind and patient soul. May his soul rest in peace.

  30. 😲 this is really sad! My experience taking his math classes at UVI will always be defined by his pleasant personality and the tool of humor to teach concepts! Sail on Sir!!

  31. Doug was an incredible teacher, but an even better friend. I will forever cherish his wisdom and the memories from both inside and outside the classroom. My deep sympathies to all in mourning.

  32. I am honored and blessed to have known Doug Iannucci as a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. Dr. Iannucci was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss him. My condolences.

  33. This man was an incredible human being with a beautiful soul and I’m truly saddened to hear of his passing. Please share any information that you may have about his celebration of life as there are many of his students like myself who long to pay our respects to his memory.

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