Steve died Aug. 25, 2021, after a long illness. He was 75.
Steve was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Silver Spring, Md. Fascinated as a child by puzzles and solving problems, he discovered early on a talent for explaining math to others, and in middle school he resolved to be a professor.
In 1967 Steve graduated with highest honors from Swarthmore as a math major with minors in philosophy and linguistics. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1972, having written a dissertation in combinatorics titled “Matroid Basis Graphs.” After postdoctoral studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada, he taught at Princeton before joining Swarthmore’s faculty in 1979. He served on the Swarthmore faculty for 38 years and was the Neil R. Grabois ’57 Professor in the Natural Sciences and Engineering.
Steve once said, “I was attracted by the black-white certainty of mathematics in what otherwise for me was a gray and confusing world. Only much later did I come to appreciate gray, both outside mathematics and within it.”
Steve is survived by his wife of 39 years, Frances Stier; his sons, Leon and Aaron; and one grandchild.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.