Roland Andrew Sweet was one of the leaders of the Computational Mathematics Group in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences from 1970 to 1996.
Sweet was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, born in St. Petersburg, Florida, the youngest of Fred and Blanche (Aubin) Sweet’s five sons. After graduating from St. Petersburg High School in 1958, Sweet served for two years in the US Navy. He studied for an Associate’s degree at St. Petersburg Junior College, obtained a BS in Mathematics from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in from Computer Science at Purdue University. He joined the newly established Computer Science Department at Cornell University in 1967 as an associate professor, and worked during the summers at a variety of national research labs. His stints at the Argonne National Laboratory and the Marathon Oil Research Center in Denver drew him to the state that would become his true home.
Sweet joined the University of Colorado’s Math Department as a tenure-track professor in 1970, teaching at the Denver campus while also consulting at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He received tenure in 1974 and continued to teach as an associate professor until 1980, when he left to take a position at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Two years later Sweet returned to Colorado, transferring to a position at the NBS labs in Boulder and then rejoining the Math Department at CU Denver as a full professor and Director of the Computational Mathematics Group.
He retired for good in 2008, and came home one final time to Boulder. It was there that he discovered his post-retirement calling as a volunteer garden manager for Earth’s Table, a non-profit community farming program working to end hunger, which became a passion of Roland’s over these last years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made in Roland’s name to Earth’s Table, the organization that brought him so much joy and purpose.