Memorial services will be held Thursday for T. Benny Rushing, 56, former dean of the University of Utah College of Science, a distinguished scientist, popular lecturer and author, who died Aug. 29, 1998, at University Hospital after a long illness.

The rites are scheduled at 10 a.m. in the Visitors Center Pavilion at Red Butte Garden and Arboretum.Dr. Rushing was dean of the college for 4 1/2 years beginning in January 1993, stepping down in July 1997 to return to research and teaching. He spent the next academic at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., conducting research in topology, a branch of mathematics related to geometry.

He was chairman of the U. mathematics department from 1982 to 1985, was reappointed in 1991 and served until being named in January 1993 to direct the College of Science. That year the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils recognized the U. department as the nation's most improved mathematics department.

Dr. Rushing received bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Wake Forest University and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Georgia in 1968. He joined the U. faculty in 1969, served two terms on the U. of U. Senate Executive Committee and was scheduled to teach a graduate class this semester at the university.

He was author of "Topological Imbeddings," published in 1973, and wrote more than 30 scientific papers for the American Journal of Mathematics and other professional publications. During his career he was invited to lecture and pursue research at universities in England, the former Yugoslavia, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Germany, Austria and Japan. He was a guest lecturer at a number of American universities.

Popular with students, Dr. Rushing directed eight Ph.D dissertations and was heavily involved in the well-being of his students and in the development of new and innovative academic programs.

He helped start a summer job internship program in which science students work for local companies, and revived programs that bring science directly to the public. One of these is the Science at Breakfast Program, at which speakers present their latest research to business people and others who are interested.

Dr. Rushing and his wife, Gail, set up a graduate fellowship fund in mathematics, for which donations can be given in lieu of flowers.