ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Andrew Majda, 72 years old, born on January 30, 1949, and passed away on March 12, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Xin Tong on March 12, 2022
Andy has left us for a year now. I have been writing this little piece during this time. Sorry it is in Chinese. I will translate it later:

2021年3月13日早晨,我收到楠哥的微信。我心里咯噔一下。该发生的果然还是发生了。
我博后时期的导师,Prof Andy Majda,在12号去世了。
Majda这个姓,华人一般翻译成马依达,虽然更准确的应该是麦达。因为他看上去比较老,我们一般也叫他老马。
老马的去世,其实也并不突然。2014年年底的时候他中了风,后来又得了帕金森。之后我每次见他就觉得他老了一圈。去年新冠病毒肆虐,他就一直躲在家里不出门。 老马膝下无儿女,他也不愿面见其他人。正常人都要憋出病来,更何况是久病的老人。2020年感恩节我写信问好,他的回信道非常怀念和我合作的那些日子,言辞间的诀别之意看得我潸然泪下。本来以为他能熬过新冠,见见好日子再走,可惜并没能熬过去。
老马 1949年出生于波兰第一代移民家庭,家里条件不好,父母对他似乎很粗鲁。他曾总结自己的火爆脾气是由此而来。他曾经是美式橄榄球队队员,并靠此拿了奖学金上了普渡。期间还需要去炼钢厂勤工俭学。令人惊讶的是,这样环境中成长出的老马其实是数学天才。他只用了三年就完成了在Stanford的博士学习。27岁便成为了UCLA的正教授。(下一个打破此记录的是陶哲轩)在这期间他完成了在PDE领域的多项重要的工作,成名立万。 在早年,应用数学还只是数学里面的一个小方向。在他的帮助下,UCLA,Princeton和NYU 的CAOS得以发扬壮大,很多之后著名的数学家是在他的指导或帮助下成才成名。
尽管建树颇丰,老马在学术届并不是人见人爱。这和他的不善言辞关系很大。我和他一开始合作的三个月,十分不上道,做出的结果少而且多有瑕疵。他对此十分不满。他多次直接跟我说如果再这样年底就解雇我。他还有次问我凭什么他一个一流的数学家要和一个三流博后合作。当我询问他我哪方面做的不好,需要改进,他就更加恼怒,说我应该自己想。这样的风格和我心目中的学者形象大相径庭,所以那三个月我过的异常痛苦。但是这样的锻炼,其实对我日后的科研发展是大有裨益的。在友善的表面下,科研界其实非常残酷。大家其实都很忙。如果工作不好或者没有意义,大部分人连看都不看,更不会跟你解释为什么工作做的不好。我在高层面上的锻炼和思考大多来自于当时和老马切磋的需求。
如果工作满意,其实老马是很友善的。我当时做的工作偏随机理论,其实并不怎么符合老马的兴趣和专长(他也曾表示当时招我只是为了填满博后名额)。但是老马一直很支持我做的各种结果,曾力挺我和相关专家见面。当年我工作找的焦头烂额,老马也时常来给我打气。此外,他常找机会带我去他喜爱的餐厅吃饭,给我讲讲当年的流金岁月。
老马后来有次说他是tough love。其实tough love远比友善的漠不关心更花心力。这不仅拯救了当时我迷惘的求学之路,也让我第一次见到一名学者对学术的真实想法和理念。我十分感谢命运令我遇到了老马,也感谢他中途没有放弃培养我。 据说,老马在最后的日子对自己曾经的言辞表示后悔,感觉伤害很多人。我一直很想让他知道其实他做的很好,至少帮助了我。尽管我多次隐约的表达了这份意思,但我也不知道他是否会为此欣慰,而且也永远不会知道了。
Posted by Xiaoming Wang on March 12, 2022
It just occurred to me that Andy has left us for a year already. He was such an inspiration to me, constantly raising challenging questions and providing penetrating insights. He was always there whenever I needed help. He is dearly missed.
Posted by Virginia Leary-Majda on March 4, 2022
Dear Friends of Andy and Gerta,
This is Andy and Gerta's sister-in-law. My late husband, John, was Andy's younger brother, John. I learned this morning from her neighbor that Gerta is in the hospital and unable to communicate. We are trying to find family and friends who are close to Gerta. Please contact me at Learymajda@aol.com if you can help us. Please keep Gerta in your prayers.
Regards, Virginia Leary-Majda
Posted by David McLaughlin on February 17, 2022
Andy was committed to making contributions to science as an applied mathematician. He was convinced that applied mathematicians are in a unique position to make significant contributions through modern mathematics -- including asymptotic analysis, stochastic analysis, and computational science. His many successes in the totality of his work confirms his conviction. I think of him and his "philosophy of science" often, as I do my own research work. Thank you, Andy.
Posted by Gerta Keller on February 9, 2022
Hi Russ

I can add another recollection to Andy Majda and Ron Diperna. Those two were very close friends. During DiPerna's last year suffering from cancer, he and his wife Maria moved to Princeton and lived in the housing of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies. When Ron no longer could leave the apartment, Andy visited him every day and spent hours with him. He was the only visitor Ron wanted to see and it was the highlight of his day. The two spent hours and hours talking about everything from math, films, sports, politics to funny dreams. Every couple of weeks Andy took him to the hospital to have his lungs pumped out and stayed with Ron until he was ok to return to his apartment. When Ron died, his wife called Andy to take care of the funeral arrangements and to help her eventually move. She needed help because she had a baby during the last months of Ron's life.

This was the time I first learned what friendship meant to Andy Majda. He was giving it all. He would never let anyone die lonely and in misery. Through the decades I experience the same kind love and care for his friends; he was there for them whenever they were ill, depressed or just miserable. Andy was a truly remarkable person and I was lucky to have him as my wonderful friend and love too.
Gerta Keller
Posted by Russ Caflisch on February 9, 2022
Among many memories of Andy, I'd like to describe the speech he gave at a memorial conference for Ron Diperna. It was 1989 at the IMA in University of Minnesota. There were many seminar talks on Ron's great mathematics, and Andy started by talking about his work with Ron. But at the end, Andy gave the most warm, personal and loving tribute to Ron. It had a profound effect on me and I think on everyone, and I still remember it as an important moment.
Posted by Gerta Keller on February 4, 2022

Dear Gerta,

So nice to hear from you! I just read your wonderful story about the Forno Hut.
Good to hear you are keeping busy, I can not imagine how difficult it must be,
especially with this pandemic still raging and keeping social life more
difficult. But I'm happy you got to Switzerland and congratulations on your honorary doctorate!

I recently saw a very interesting article about your work in Sky and Telescope
magazine. You are making an "impact"! It seems that the overwhelming
evidence of the importance of the Deccan eruptions can not be denied now ...but as you say, it's difficult for some to admit they may have been off the mark. I hope your success continues in this area.

You may know that there was "The Andy Majda Memorial Session on Tropical
Convection and Waves" held last week at the AMS annual meeting, which was
unfortunately all virtual, but still a great success. Boualem gave a nice introduction, and several of us gave talks about topics of interest to Andy. The
session was recorded, and you may be able to access it here:
https://ams.confex.com/ams/102ANNUAL/meetingapp.cgi/Session/59480

but it seems that you have to have registered for the meeting to see the
recording. Perhaps Boualem already let you know about this...it should be
accessible to all at some point. If it is now please let me know and I will post
a link on Andy's memorial website. But if you can't see the recording let me
know and I will try and get access for you right away (I may be able to
download it). Most of the talks have some personal recollections of Andy in
between the science discussed...

Gerta, Mary and I hope to see you again sometime. Please let us know if you
are ever coming through Colorado again, we would love to host you here in
Boulder for a visit. Or perhaps I will see you at AGU again sometime?

take care and please stay in touch

Best,
George
George Kiladis
Posted by Xin Tong on February 4, 2022
Dear Gerta,

This is also the first year I did not send Andy a birthday note.
Thank you for posting a story of Andy on his 73 birthday.
I was and still am fascinated by him. Please keep these stories coming, I always want to learn more about him, as part of him still lives in me.

At the same time, stay healthy and strong.
That would be the thing that Andy wants of you.

Hope all is well

Xin
Posted by Robin Pispecky on January 31, 2022
Dearest Gerta,
Thank you for posting the story of the Forno Hut, a lighthearted tale one of the many adventures that you and Andy shared. He would have laughed, again. It was a kind way to remember his birthday.
I hope that the coming Spring helps to brighten your days. We'll have to get together again soon. Sending you prayers, love and hugs, Robin.
Posted by Hanspeter Aliesch on January 30, 2022
I remember all the exciting and great conversations with Andy in Schaffhausen and Haute-Nendaz in Switzerland. Andy was also an extraordinary film connoisseur. On August 1, we went up in the air with Gerta in a hot air balloon. Very early at 6 o'clock in the morning. A bit cold. But a wonderful balloon ride over the Emmental with a destination breakfast in a farmer's hut. Also very much to Andy's taste. We think of you. Hanspeter
Posted by Gerta Keller on January 8, 2022
Dear Gerta,

This morning, I was saddened to learn that your husband, Andy Majda, died in March, 2021. Please accept my sincere condolences.

I was Andy’s roommate at Purdue and we remained friends while he was in grad school at Stanford and I was at UC Berkeley (Chemical Engineering) in the early 1970’s. We enjoyed hiking trips in Yosemite and attending sports events around the Bay Area. I visited Andy a few times in the mid-1970’s when he was at NYU and I was working in New Jersey. After that, our paths diverged and we lost contact.

I always pretended to understand what Andy was doing academically, but in fact it was far beyond me. His passion and enthusiasm were incredible. Clearly this carried over to his many students and colleagues. Andy and I did share many non-academic interests including hiking, sports, food, and a little ‘culture’. I might add travel to this list, had we stayed in contact. Back in the day, neither of us had the time or money to do much traveling.

I regret that I didn’t try harder to stay in touch with Andy and that you and I never met. You lost a very fine man.

Tom Murphy
dewetvi@aol.com                                    
Posted by Gerta Keller on December 2, 2021
Nov. 26, 2021
Dear Gerta,

Hope this email finds you doing well. Time flies. It's been a while since we met last time on Zoom in early spring. Now it is almost winter. Yingxin and I wish to say 'greeting' and 'thank you' to you (and Andy) at this special holiday. I remember last time you said you were writing a book about your research. Hope the progress went smoothly.

We are overall doing well these days. Since this September, the university decided to switch back to fully in-person teaching. So eventually, we saw people in the real world. But, of course, we are very cautious with masks putting on all the time. I also kept all my meetings on Zoom for safety reasons. Early this week, Yingxin and I moved to a new house at the very west part of Madison, and we are now busy settling down.

I searched my email history. Last time when I talked to Andy, it was 1 year ago (last November). Cannot believe it's been so long. I really miss him a lot. Each week when I prepared a lecture note for my graduate course this semester, I cannot help recalling how Andy taught me all those knowledges, and more importantly how Andy taught me to give a clear lecture. When I worked on research, the stronger feeling and memory came. I kept telling myself to focus on and do high quality research, as Andy always reminded me. These days, I still follow the same research style as I was working with Andy, writing weekly reports to myself, optimizing time and leaving several entire days for research while minimizing the time spending on all other things, and putting more emphasis on thinking. I really appreciate and cherish all those Andy taught me, which will benefit my entire life.

This year, I collaborated mostly with those who were also in Andy's group, especially Sam Stechmann, Di Qi and John Harlim. We all learned a lot from Andy. We sometimes chatted for many things in the past. We were all very sad when we talked about Andy's passing ...

During the week of Dec 13, we will hold two scientific sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting (with the great help from Reza as well), which is one of the biggest conferences in geophysics and applied math with 20,000+ attendance every year. We have about 60 speakers who are willing to contribute a talk/poster (more than half are Andy's postdocs or students), the number of which is significant. We hope to let more people know Andy's work and his unique contribution to these interdisciplinary areas.

Finally, I wish to say 'thank you' to you and Andy. Andy is more than my academic father. Although he cannot see my email, I still wanted to express my gratitude to him, and you as well.

Please take care and stay warm in this coming winter.
Nan and Yingxin
Mathematics Department, University of Wisconsin
Posted by Kumaran Damodaran on September 3, 2021
Dear Gerta,

I am shocked to hear of Professor Majda’s passing.

I am shocked and hugely embarrassed that I only found out now. I have been out of physics and mathematics for over 20 years. Occasionally, as for instance on this Friday ahead of Labor Day, I reminisce and google my past and favorite professors as well as former student colleagues to see what they have been up to. And today, I’m shocked and deeply saddened to have come across this news. I don’t use the word ‘shocked’ lightly – to me Professor Majda was a force of nature -- one of those people that as a student you imagined even death couldn’t touch. And yet today I find myself struggling to understand this horrific loss for his wife, his family, his friends, and for the academic community…

I took Professor Majda’s undergraduate course on Fluid Mechanics at Princeton in the Fall of 1993, and I went on to do my second junior paper with him in the Spring of 1993. This culminated in my undergraduate year thesis supervised by him in 1994, and I even I came back to campus after graduating to work for him over the summer as a research assistant, continuing work I had done on my thesis. The work, in conjunction with Rupert Klein, ended up getting published in JFM. That edition of JFM is still one of my prized earthly possessions.

I will never forget his energy and passion for solving problems and explaining concepts, both of which were very infectious and incredibly inspiring. He always scheduled our meetings at some godawful early hour (for a student!), but for me those meetings were the equivalent of lighting gasoline with a match. He had a genius for framing problems. I’m so fortunate that not only was I a keen student and I learned a ton from him, I was also able to contribute in a small and tiny way to furthering knowledge in his field. My passions in physics and mathematics unfortunately lay elsewhere from applied mathematics, and I ended up doing something very different for my PhD. Eventually I left academics completely shortly thereafter, but I’ll never forget those 2 years working under Professor Majda’s tutelage.

Thank you Professor Majda.

My deepest condolences once again to you Gerta, and Professor Majda’s friends and family. What a tragic loss for the Courant Institute and for science.

Take care,
Kumaran Damodaran
Posted by Gerta Keller on July 15, 2021
Dear Gerta,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved husband, Andy Majda, and the grief it caused to you. I can so much understand and commiserate with you. My wife and I just celebrated 50 years of happy marriage in May of this year, to which we can add a couple of more years, since we used to be fellow students when we fell in love with each other in the late sixties. This reminds me of a sentence from a quite famous Hungarian writer and journalist, Sándor Márai, who died in exile in the US some years ago. When he was asked whether after so many years he still loves his wife, he said, this is like you would ask me whether I love e.g. my hands, because she is a part of me, just like any part of my body. And as years pass by and we are getting older the question inherently pops up more and more often, who of us will be the "winner" to survive the other one. Well, as you say, one thing is sure: life will be never the same for the one who survives.

But than, fortunately, you have also another big love: true Science. And I hope this will give you enough comfort and energy to still have in front of you many meaningful and beautiful years to live. I can only congratulate you for receiving your honorary Doctorate Degree. You know, at least as for me, getting older, curiosity (the main driver in scientific work), slowly but gradually declines. So, I think, a bit of acknowledgement/ reward is very promotional if not essential to keep you running. So I am very glad for your recent distinction. You fully deserved it.

I wish you further on a lot of energy, fun and success in your final battle with the indoctrinated impactists.
Greetings,
Zsolt

Zsolt Berner, isotope geochemist, retired from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany

Posted by Ryan Ozminkowski on June 28, 2021
Dear Gerta,

In my time at school, you were without a doubt one of my greatest influences and sources of inspiration. You taught me to dream and fight the good fight with an energy and spunk like no one else could.

I know throughout this time Andy was the bedrock that kept you grounded in all ways. Whether researching Deccan, commenting on unique stratigraphy or cutting off your cast because it was too annoying to keep on, you would always bring up Andy and your love and care for him was so clear.

Though coming to you from the other side of the country, I am beyond saddened to hear about your loss and wishing I could be there to help and support you during this time. I am deeply saddened by this loss and wishing you the best during this time of mourning.
Posted by Gerta Keller on June 5, 2021
Dear Gerta,

We met briefly in Victoria, BC, in 2019 and you knew my brother David who was Andy's student at Princeton.

I am writing to express my sadness at Andy's death, and my sadness for what you must be going through as his life-long partner. At times like this, much is said about professional legacy (more on this below) but I wanted to focus on something that struck me as I got to know Andy better over the last decade: he always spoke with deep affection about you, infrequently, but regularly; it was always nice to hear, and presented a gentler side to him, softening his fierce intellect!

Regarding his intellect his legacy is, of course, immense, but you do not need me to tell you this. On a more personal level I am struck by the number of junior researchers who prospered under his guidance, even through the last six years of his life after the stroke. I am regularly writing to support the appointment, or promotion, of such individuals and am impressed by them. I also always appreciated the fact that he paid 100% attention in talks, never distracted by phones or computers; though he did once (amusingly) storm out of a lecture when I was sitting with him, informing me that the material was "too French".

I wish you well for finding your feet in a different life without Andy.

With warm wishes,

Andrew
Andrew Stewart, Caltech
Posted by Gerta Keller on May 4, 2021
Dear Gerta,

We are here for you, I know I am, whatever you need regarding Andy's life
at Courant and if I can assist I am happy to do so.

After I heard of Andy's passing I thought back to the sunny meetings in
his office, and I thought of one conversation in particular that made me
smile and I would like to share this with you. As I mentioned he was
insanely proud of you, he let everyone know, which I am sure you know.
He had told me that there was the possibility that a film was going to
be made about your extraordinary life by Ron Howard, which if that does
happen will be very exciting! But as we were talking about this film
project I asked him who he wanted to play him! Because he'd surely have
to play a part of the story of your life! And he thought for a few
SECONDS (not minutes HAH) and said Tom Hanks! And we had a big laugh
together.

I am currently still working at home, and believe I will not be back on
campus til perhaps August, more than likely after I have the vaccine. As
it stands here in NY, I am very low on the list at the current time, so
who knows when that will happen. But I will be there with my arm out as
soon as I am allowed, I'm a big supporter of vaccines.

Warm wishes,

-Jackie

Jacquelyn Mileski   3.15.2021
Posted by Gerta Keller on May 3, 2021
Liebe Gert

Ich habe gestern erst vom Tod von Andy erfahren. Ich möchte dir mein herzliches Beileid ausdrücken.

Ich habe Andy vor bald fünfzehn Jahren zum letzten Mal gesehen. Aber wenn ich jetzt an ihn denke, dann sind die Erinnerungen an ihn so präsent und frisch, als läge alles viel weniger weit zurück.

Es sind Erinnerungen an unsere zahlreichen Wanderungen, allermeist in Graubünden, aber auch im Appenzellischen und im Jura und einmal sogar im Baskenland. Es sind Erinnerungen an viele gute Gespräche über Gott und die Welt, an gemeinsames Flachsen und Lachen, an gemeinsames Sich-Freuen und Genießen.

Andy hat sich als Wissenschaftler sein Leben lang im Olymp der ganz Grossen der Mathematik bewegt, in einer für uns Laien nicht erschliessbaren Welt. Aber er hat nie den Bezug zu den „Niederungen“ unserer Welt verloren. Er war für mich geradezu die Antithese zum Bild des Wissenschaftlers in seinem Elfenbeinturm. Sport, Politik, Journalismus, Bücher, Filme, in all dem und noch viel mehr war trefflich und immer anregend mit ihm zu diskutieren.

Ich habe jetzt ein Bild von Andy vor mir liegen. Er lacht und ich sehe den Schalk in seinen Augen blitzen und ich empfinde die Zuneigung und Herzlichkeit, die er mir immer entgegengebracht hat. Das ist das Bild von Andy, das ihn für mich trifft wie kein anderes und das ich von ihm behalten werde.

Ich habe Andy gerne gehabt.

Und du, liebe Gert, hast deinen Andy jetzt verloren.

Was können Worte in dieser Situation? Der deutsche Theologe Dietrich Bonhoeffer hatte wenige Monate vor seinem Tod geschrieben: Je schöner und voller die Erinnerung, desto schwerer die Trennung. Aber die Dankbarkeit verwandelt die Erinnerung in eine stille Freude. Man trägt das vergangene Schöne wie ein Geschenk in sich.

Ich weiss, dass auch du viele schöne und volle Erinnerungen an die lange gemeinsame Zeit mit Andy hast, Erinnerungen, die weit über die letzten Jahre des Bangens, der Schmerzen und des Leids angesichts Andys Krankheit hinausreichen.

Möge Dir dieses kostbare Geschenk in dieser dunklen Zeit Trost geben und schliesslich auch wieder Kraft und Zuversicht für die Zeit, die kommt.

Ich grüsse dich in stiller Trauer

Marco

Marco Färber
Posted by Jim Bettner on May 2, 2021
I remember Andy as a best friend of many years. Playing high school football, studying for exams, double dates, and just plain having fun as friends. There were visits over the years where we would talk of the "old" days, recent events, and future plans. I remember in particular, an 8 mile walk to the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse in Sequim Washington where Andy, Gerta, Mary Ann, and I had heartwarming discussions and shared memories. Then there was the time when Andy and Gerta visited us in Fox Island. Andy and I played pool like we were still in high school. Andy will be missed by us, and by all those who were fortunate enough to have been able know him. He was a kind and gentle man, and in spite of his many world worldly accomplishments, a most humble man. Andy my friend, I am so sorry to have learned of your passing. You are sorely missed.
Posted by Gerta Keller on April 27, 2021
Dear Gerta,

I was very sad last Friday when Thierry told me the terrible news. I know that my words can do little, but I am sending my deep and heartfelt condolence to you and your family.


The death – William Blake –
"I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
He is an object and I stand watching him
Till at last he fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “he is gone!” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
He is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as he was when I saw him,
And just as able to bear his load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in him;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “he is gone”,
There are others who are watching him coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“There he comes” ~ and that is how death is."

With all my affection,
Alicia Fantasia
Posted by Nate Whitaker on April 25, 2021
Dear Gerta,

I am truly sorry about Andy's passing. I knew him as a good friend. When I came to Berkeley as a graduate student he was very kind to me and we had great times playing tennis. I took numerical analysis from him and learned a lot from his insights. He was a genuine person. He leaves a void for me.

Sincerely,
Nate
Posted by Jack Zhao on April 24, 2021
Dear Gerta,

On behalf of David Cai’s family, I would like to express our heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your loved one. We learned the sad news from Andy’s and David’s students.

I have known the friendship Andy and David shared over decades. I am sure they will continue to enjoy their friendship in heaven.

Jack
Posted by Gerta Keller on April 22, 2021
Dear Gerta,

Hilda and I are very sad to learn that Andy has passed away.

He was a brilliant mathematician with a remarkable ability to describe difficult concepts clearly.
I vividly recall the first time I heard him give a seminar. I expected to be thoroughly confused
but went anyway... the seminar was at GFDL... and was pleasantly surprised by his
lucid account of a complex facet of applied mathematics.

In person I found him to be charming, supportive and encouraging.
He even paid me the complement of trying to persuade me to move to NYU!

Somebody said that we have memories so that we can smell roses in winter.
We will always have Andy with us because of the fond memories we have of him.

best wishes
George and Hilda.
George Philander
Posted by Gerta Keller on April 21, 2021
Dear Gerta,

the news of Andy's passing away has left me sad and thoughtful,
and it has brought up many memories of the past 33 years. Some
of these I would like to share with you, and I am writing a
letter that I will send one of these days, probably not by email.
Since this is taking longer than I had expected, let me convey
my sincere condolences today, and please accept my apology for
this belated sign of compassion.
 Andy and you have given so many of us friends and colleagues
an admirable example of how love, trust, commitment, strong
will, and mutual acceptance can be forged into a beautiful,
unshakeable partnership. I can only imagine how hard it must have
been for the two of you to see Andy struggle with his desease,
and what a loss his final step must mean to you.
 I myself am very sad having lost a committed friend, reliable
long-time supporter of my career and a tough scientific challenger.

The loss is huge.

Claudia, too, sends her sincered condolences. We have shared
memories of how Andy and Claudia could chat away for hours
at a time sharing anecdotes of their respective travel
adventures, and - of course - of of Andy's wonderful humor
and enthusiasm.

Yours,

Rupert Klein

 
Posted by Joeleen Grant on April 20, 2021
Andy was very passionate about his research and the impact it had across the world. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He will be missed, but his work and the great memories he had with others will remain dear to all who have had the pleasure to interact with him.
Posted by David Stuart on April 3, 2021
I was very pleased to hear all the tributes to Andy today. I will always be very grateful to him for supporting me to work on a PhD research project which I had chosen myself, and was not particularly close to his own current interests at that time - he advised and encouraged me, in a completely selfless way. He was a very generous and good hearted person, and I remember with gratitude both his assistance and inspiration in mathematical and scientific matters and the warm hospitality he and Gerta offered.
Posted by Xiaoming Wang on April 3, 2021
The first time I heard Andy’s name was when I was a graduate student at Bloomington and he came for a colloquium talk. I don’t remember the topic, but I do recall the excitement among the professors. When I went to Courant as a postdoc, I naturally took advantage of the situation and sat in Andy’s class although he was not my postdoc mentor. I enjoyed very much the course that he taught on nonlinear dynamics and statistical theories for basic geophysical models, and eventually Andy invited me to become a co-author on a book with the same title. Working with Andy was intense. His beautiful synergy of rigorous mathematics and physical intuition is a hallmark in all of his work that I know of. I have benefited greatly from our collaboration scientific wise and career wise. Along the way, we became close friends and enjoyed many happy times together in Manhattan, Princeton, Tallahassee, Shanghai, etc. The last time that we saw each other was in Victoria for his 70th birthday in 2019, and we had a good time there. It was such a shock to hear his passing. He is dearly missed.
Posted by Bob Palais on April 2, 2021
I think of and share appreciation of Andy often. Recently I was recalling a “still blows my mind” moment about Andy's expertise in thesis guidance in a follow up to someone I was asked to write a tenure letter for in January. In a chat with Andrea, and a chat with Deane Yang, and a Facebook post 2017 that included "[Grad school officemate Nat Smale] was also the one who suggested I take the class from the professor who became my advisor. Andy Majda was everything one could ask for in a thesis supervisor and a friend too." Andy totally rescued me at my qualifying exams defense (as usual) and had me well prepared with “know Fritz John’s book backwards and forwards…” Maybe most of all, I remember times during the inevitable ups and downs of research, and a specific time when I was really struggling in a crisis of confidence with my thesis, and he was both patient and persistent and encouraging and empathetic on a human level. I'm reminded of Andy and Gerta pretty much every day when I look at the “wood man” revealed from roots of a tree by Gerta’s brother, and their redwood burl table that’s still a centerpiece we are still enjoying and taking good care of… I tell all my students about Andy and why and that it’s thanks to him that I’m here.
[From a continuation email]: I still have a tennis racket he gave me …Head Master , the same I’d used in high school…, On so many occasions I’ve used him as The example that being a great researcher means you’re not a great teacher, whether classroom or advisory/mentoring. I still have notebooks from Math 222, 278, … I was able to co-developed a technology used in one of the most effective and widely used rapid Covid (and Ebola and H1N1) diagnostics thanks to things I learned working with Andy. And I'm grateful for so many lifelong academic and personal friends I knew through our connection with Andy and Gerta.
Posted by Esteban Tabak on April 2, 2021
I miss Andy dearly. He's had a profound influence on my life, starting with my postdoctoral years with him at Princeton and followed by over two and a half decades as colleagues at Courant. We've had a lot of fun together, academic and otherwise.
Among the things I learned from him: to boldly change academic direction as often as necessary, pursuing areas of research which one deems important and where one may potentially contribute, even if one must start afresh with little credentials. In doing so though, wisely bring along the toolbox from your previous pursuits. Andy does personify for me the power of applied math, where techniques developed, say, for Quantum Mechanics, may find good use in the study of tropical storms. I also learned not to respect academic authority too much, starting with our first meeting on the occasion of a talk of his at Harvard, on the day we first met.
Andy was a very generous man. When we both came to Courant, he decided that we should not collaborate for a while, so that I could develop more freely my own path. I both appreciate and lament this wise offer, as I did cherish our weekly meetings. I also treasure the coffees with Andy and Gerta from decades past, which have over the years acquired in my memory that unique palette that only beauty and melancholy combined can produce.
I'll miss Andy. I think that parts of him survive in all of us.
Posted by Nan Chen on March 31, 2021
I was very saddened and shocked to hear Andy's passing. During the past few days, I can't help recalling my memories with Andy. There are so many stories about Andy that come to my mind at this moment. I honestly do not know where to start this tribute.

The first time I knew Andy was in 2007 when I read his 2003 Courant lecture notes. I was deeply attracted by many of the novel ideas and unique intuitions provided by Andy.

I was very fortunate to become Andy's PhD student in 2011 and then become his postdoc in 2016. I knew almost nothing about research at the very beginning. Andy was willing to spend huge amount of time on supervising me a lot of things, from guiding me through understanding many mathematical papers to teaching me the way of thinking and doing research. I remember, during my first year of PhD, the most frequent sentence Andy said to me was "You need more thinking." This sentence constantly helped me not only in research but in many aspects of my daily life as well.

I sincerely appreciate Andy for providing me a large number of opportunities to enhance my comprehensive ability in research. I wasn't good at scientific presentations at the very beginning. Because of this, Andy gave me a precious opportunity to act as a lecturer to teach his graduate courses. He then sat in the first row and constantly provided many important comments. I benefited a lot from all his comments and gradually learned to give organized presentations.

Andy was extremely busy. We actually never knew when Andy started working in the early morning since he was always the first one who arrived at Courant 9th floor. When I was a student, I was scheduled for a one-hour weekly meeting with Andy. Despite being so busy, Andy always tried to make use of all possible free time for additional meetings with me. I was extremely touched for how hard Andy guided me on research and how generous he was on spending time helping me. I cherish all the lessons from Andy, which benefit my entire life.

In addition to being my academic father, Andy was also my close friend. We often chatted on many other things, such as travels, sports and cultures. Andy was actually experts on many things. He always said he's a master of psychology in a kidding way. But I believe the statement was actually true. We sometimes talked about soccer, which was not the sports that he was most familiar with. But I was amazed that he even knew so much for soccer.

The last time I saw Andy was 10th October 2019 at his home. I still clearly remember Andy brought me to the front door when I left his house. He was at a slow pace but with a big smile. That picture repeats in my minds these days.

Andy told me the most important thing for someone who wants to do great scientific work is "He/she loves science". Andy himself was such a person who really loved science. His spirit will continuously influence all of us.
Posted by Marcus Grote on March 31, 2021
I was very saddened to hear that Andy had passed away.

I met Andy for the first time in 1995 as a postdoc, when I became
a member of the "CAOS team" on the 9th floor at the Courant Institute.
As J. Biello wrote:"Andy pushed us all hard...but we know that he pushed
himself so much harder." I couldn't agree more! To this day I remain
thankful for all the things I learned from Andy during those two years.
Later Andy invited me twice to spend my sabbatical term at the Courant
Institute. When I think back to those times, many fond memories return,
such as Andy's 60th birthday which we celebrated in Shanghai early 2009.
I miss those great times with Andy discussing applied mathematics, politics
or recent movies showing at the Angelika Film Center during our many
joint lunches on the 13th floor.       

Clearly, Andy was a brilliant mathematician, but he was so much more!
Rarely have I met anyone so passionate not only about his research
but also about the role applied mathematics could play in addressing
real-life problems, such as the climate crisis. I owe Andy so much
and will always remember him as an inspiring mentor.

My sincere condolences to his family.
Posted by Xuping Xie on March 31, 2021
I am very sad to hear that Andy has passed away. I was so fortunate to work as a postdoc under his guidance.
"Xuping, your report lacks physics intuition",
"you have to improve yourself!".
I am grateful for all his words to me. I learned so much for my research work. I appreciate all his help given to me.
His persistent pursuit and serious attitude towards academic research will be remembered for my life and will always inspire me in my work.

May you rest in peace
Forever miss Prof. Andy J. Majda
Posted by Peter Sarnak on March 29, 2021


I just learned that Andy passed away a couple of weeks ago.
I am in shock .What a loss for Gerta ,for Courant Institute and for
his many friends and of course the whole mathematics community .
He was such a wonderful,energetic and brilliant person. 
I regret that in recent years I hardly saw him.I knew that he
was having health problems and of course the last year has
been a disaster as far as socializing.
My thoughts go back to when I was a finishing graduate student
at Stanford and I learned of Andy from Ralph Phillips and Peter Lax
and how much they admired Andy as a brilliant
mathematician (or applied mathematician as Andy viewed himself)
and as a person .
Posted by ANDREA BERTOZZI on March 29, 2021
I was very saddened to hear the news about Andy's passing. Such a scientific leader! He had a profound impact in applied mathematics and many other fields. I owe my scientific career to his mentoring - both as an undergraduate and PhD researcher at Princeton. He will be sorely missed. 
Posted by Reza Malek-Madani on March 28, 2021
I first met Andy in 1975. He gave a talk in the PDE seminar at Brown. We all knew we had seen something special.

For the next 45 years I had the same impression every time I was at any of Andy's talks. We all got used to expecting clarity and hard truths about every topic he chose to share with us.

Andy was my teacher, but what remains with me more than anything is the way he showed us how to learn. In the mid-90s he made a huge career switch and dedicated himself to learning geophysics. His approach was to read every important paper in the field. Every year, for several years, Andy ended the year by hosting a Friday-Saturday workshop during the first week of December. I had never seen as much give and take as I saw in those formative years. The discussions were epic and often heated. I used to take the train home on Saturdays with a batch of recent papers by Andy and his collaborators, and was thankful that I had a year to digest some of them.

Andy used to say "work on problems that people care about." It became my mantra at ONR. For me, Andy defined what applied mathematics is.

Andy was so generous to me, with his time and kindness. He was always ready to share that incredible intuition of his with us. We all marveled at how much math he knew. But Andy was just as comfortable to talk about Federer or Ovechkin. Or African art, or so many other topics.

Andy was the mathematician of my generation. I will forever miss his big heart and unmatched courage.

Posted by Sam Stechmann on March 24, 2021
I'm so deeply saddened to hear that Andy has passed away. He meant so much to me as a friend and a mentor. It was always amazing to watch how quickly he picked up a new area of math or science, and he was always picking up something new. He was so energetic, and I'll never forget all of the fun times we had as he introduced to me to new places around the world (in NYC, China, Abu Dhabi, ...). He was always the life of the party at a workshop or conference. We'll miss you, Andy. Rest in peace.
Posted by Eniko Szekely on March 24, 2021
The last time I got news about Andy recently was that he was thinking of maybe retiring. The news of his passing was so unexpected, and my sincere condoleances go to his family.

I met Andy on my first day as a postdoc at CAOS when I went to greet him in his office. It must have been a Friday and he told me not to hesitate to take the day off to deal with all the necessary administrative stuff as there will be work to do later. As I learned, there was work to do, but his kindness that day meeting him will stay with me. I will always be grateful for what he created at CAOS and all the opportunities that the center has opened for so many people. May you rest in peace, Andy.
Posted by Yingxin Zhao on March 23, 2021
It has been very hard to digest the news about Andy's passing. The memories of the a few meetups with Andy kept displaying in front of my eyes that could hardly keep from becoming wet. We had an unforgettable dinner together with Andy and Gerta back in 2016 at Aquagrill in NYC to celebrate my husband Nan's PHD graduation. I've heard of Andy's great academic achievements and at the dinner I was impressed with his sense of humor, warmth and the pride of having Gerta as his wife. Hearing their stories, I was thinking that was really the best relationship I've seen with such deep bonds and still full of freshness with so many years passing by.

Andy came to our place for watching the 2016 presidential debate. He looked so humble when sitting in our small studio in front of our work desk and enjoying his favorite blueberries.

In 2018, we invited Andy and Gerta for a home dinner. When we tried to make our three-month daughter shake Andy's hand, he looked bit nervous at first then blossomed a big smile on his face.

My most sincere condolence to Gerta and all who had the loss.
Posted by Xin Tong on March 23, 2021
“Come to the edge," he said.
"We can't, we're afraid!" they responded.
"Come to the edge," he said.
"We can't, We will fall!" they responded.
"Come to the edge," he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.”

---Guillaume Apollinaire


At Andy's 70th birthday meeting, I dedicate this poem to his mentoring. Andy's mentoring has changed my life and career immensely. I really hope he knows that.
Posted by Ulrich Achatz on March 22, 2021
With great sadness I have read about Andy's passing away. His scientific approach has always impressed me, and I am very grateful that he opened to me the door to the stimulating science he has been doing together with his friends and colleagues. I have learned a lot from him and his work, and the gap he has left is enormous. Not the least because his society has always been most pleaseant and enjoyable. My most cordial condolescence to his wife and family.
Posted by Nick Moore on March 22, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family. Andy’s impact was gigantic, both in the scientific arena and in the lives of those lucky enough to have passed through his orbit. He will be remembered for his relentless spirit and unwavering pursuit of excellence, as well as the warmth and support he showed towards those who worked with him, always offered in Andy’s own unique way but nevertheless genuine and abundant. A piece of that spirit will live on in all of us. He will be remembered fondly.
Posted by Themistoklis Sapsis on March 19, 2021
I am one of those fortunate that learned from Andy, both as a postdoc and later as a faculty. It is very hard to comprehend that he has passed away.

For me Andy was more than an Academic Father. Although I was 27 with a PhD when I first met with him, now, exactly 10 years later, I can confidently say that Andy defined me both as a scientist but also, to a very important degree, as a person. My note can easily become inappropriately lengthy if I begin to write all the explicit and implicit contributions of Andy to my scientific path. And it’s interesting that as the time passes and I get older, I continue to realize more and more of these contributions.

One of my colleagues wrote recently for him “Andy was a giant of mathematics". What I would add to this statement is that Andy left a mark, not only through his scientific contributions and the scientific communities he created, but his paradigm as someone who continuously and honestly served a greater purpose than himself: the absolute scientific truth. He had the talent and the courage to do that throughout his life. His legacy will never be forgotten.
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Dear Gerta
I am very, very sorry about Andy. What a great person. My memories are with him. We had met the last time, for the balloon ride! That was on a 1st of August in the „Berner Oberland". It is very present before my eyes. But already so many years ago. I hope you are well? Emotionally and healthwise?

I had the pleasure of visiting you both once in Princeton. Andy was also a film fan with great knowledge. I thank him for the compliment.

Yes, time goes by so fast. We've been here 5 years and I'm actually enjoying my "farm life" quite a bit. I love this peace and quiet, the garden and eating my own food, the beautiful weather and the sea. And we live simply and very cheaply. And I had so the time to finish Stromboli, which I shoot in 2016. 2 weeks ago I had won in Beloit, Wisconsin at a festival as best documentary film. Also in Italy. Besides gardening, I still work on 4-6 documentaries a year for Swiss television. Sometimes editing, but mostly color grading and restorations.

Our little Daniel is already going to preschool. Olga is more satisfied than in Switzerland. Our conflict cadence has decreased to monthly. Also Olga's mother died last summer, of cancer, and Olga was with Daniel two months in Ukraine. I alone on the farm.

Liebe Grüsse Hanspeter
Hanspeter Aliesch, Muvi AG
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Dear Gerta,

I had sent below birthday email yesterday.

I read with sadness the news about Andy. Believe me, often think of both of you. The pain and hard time both of you have to endure. I remember very well when mom asked for her last meal. She asked for tom kha gai (chicken soup) which I bought in a Thai restaurant near the train station in Heiden. It took mom 3 days to finish the soup. She never ate anything else after that. Gerta, I m with you and Andy now, more than ever.
Memory of Mom and what both of you go through make my tears flow.
I m sitting at the curbs in front of a 7-11, writing this short note to both of you. Rain is falling, which took me by surprise. I was expecting a hot day, now soak in water.
I have a 40km ride back home as soon the rain eases a bit.

Dear Gerta, I don' t know what to say to Andy in his last few hours/days he has left. The same as with mom, I had no words to comfort her, just sit next to her and wait in silence. I m not good to deal with such situations.
I am very proud to have known Andy. He is always in my good memory. I wish him a good and peaceful journey. Goodbye Andy.

I m trully sorry for not finding the right words.

Love,
Roger
Burkhalter
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Liebe Gerta

Ich möchte dir mein herzliches Beileid aussprechen. Es ist für dich eine Zeit mit viel Schmerzen, Leid und Traurigkeit. Du hast einen lieben Menschen verloren. Auch wenn es eine Erlösung für Andy und dich ist, es ist sehr traurig zu wissen, dass Andy uns verlassen hat. Ich sitze hier im Büro mit Tränen in den Augen und meine Gedanken sind bei Euch. Ich schicke dir viel Kraft und wünsche, dass diese Zeit vorbei geht und du wieder in dein Leben zurück kehren kannst. Ich freue mich auf ein baldiges Wiedersehen mit dir. Wenn ich dir etwas helfen kann, lass es mich bitte wissen.

Ich werde Andy immer in guter Erinnerung haben und ihn immer lieben.

Ganz liebe Grüsse
Claudio Burkhalter
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Dear Gert

Oh no... this is terrible… I`m so unbelievably sorry... I was just looking into my laptop when your mail popped up and I`m writing those lines to you immediately after reading your words. I feel shocked and slain by what happened, by what you write. I`m struggling to find words. Painful emptiness displaces my thoughts. I am profoundly sad and send you my deepest condolences.

Those thoughts that I`m yet able to grasp are with Andy as well as with you. I cannot imagine how it must have been for him - fearful, not ready to go; and I do not even dare to imagine how it must have been for you - seeing him like this, hearing him asking you to rescue him. Again, I`m so deeply sorry.

I know, we haven`t talked much lately and I`m not assuming that I`m the person for you to talk to about Andy`s passing but if there`s anything I can do, if you want to talk or whatever, please let me know.

I wish you a lot of strength in this sadness, in those hours and the time that will come.

Be hugged and loved. I will miss Andy very much. I still remember strongly how I felt, an eternity ago, standing in front of Aunt Ruths house in Haute-Nendaz, probably wearing the „Philadelphia Flyers“-Jersey that you`ve brought as a present, while Andy asked me if I want him to be my godfather - I was so overwhelmed, so profoundly happy.

Love, Gian Andri Faerber
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
                                                                                             ALLES HAT SEINE ZEIT-
ES GIBT EINE ZEIT DER STILLE                                                                                             ZEIT DES SCHMERZES                                                                                              ZEIT DER TRAUER                                                                                              UND EINE ZEIT DER DANKBAREN ERINNERUNG
                     Zitat
Liebe Gerta                      
Aus eigener Erfahrung weiss ich, wie schmerzvoll es ist,
einen lieben Partner zu verlieren.
Geschriebene Worte können in einer solchen Situation
keinen echten Trost spenden.
Trotzdem ist mir ein grosses Bedürfnis, Dir zu diesem
grossen Verlust mein tief empfundenes Beileid
auszusprechen.
Ich hoffe, dass deine Erinnerung an den lieben Andy
In dieser schwierigen Zeit Trost und Kraft spenden,
um die Zukunft zu bejahen.

In stiller Trauer
Ernst Burkhalter

Gerne würde ich dir in dieser schwierigen Zeit
meine Hilfe anbieten. So kannst Du Dich aber
jederzeit auf mich verlassen.
Ernst

Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Dear Gerta

We just received the sad news about the passing of Andy. It hurts so much, and we can’t imagine how you feel right now. I immediately thought of our last visit to New York and our joint get-together in Andy’s favorite Italian restaurant…beautiful memories!

On March 1st, 2021 at 05:32 Sajitha gave birth to our first-born son Ben Kaveen and Andy passed away today…two completely opposite events that makes one realize how close joy and sadness are to each other. It hurts to know that Ben will never meet Andy in person.

We wish you all the strength you need to get through this difficult time and may the many memories of your journey together serve you as beacons on your path through grief. Andy has left a huge footprint in this world and will be missed and remembered by many! Our thoughts are with you.

Our condolences!

Love
Sajitha & Nico Faerber
Posted by Gerta Keller on March 18, 2021
Mein herzlichstes Beileid liebe Gert.

Ich weiss, wie gross deine Schmerzen über den Tod und Verlust von deinem geliebten Andy sind, ihr habt euch immer sehr geliebt.
Nach all den vielen Schmerzen, Aengsten und Zweifeln, die Andy für lange Zeit begleiteten, ist es aber auch tröstlich zu wissen, dass Andy nicht mehr leiden muss.
Andy ist jetzt an einem schönen Ort, er wird dich für immer beschützen.

Auch ich bin sehr traurig und erschüttert über sein langes Leiden und den frühen Tod.
Was mir bleibt, sind viele schöne Erinnerungen an Andy. Ich denke gerne zurück an unsere Reisen, Ferien und schönen Momente, die wir in all den Jahren gemeinsam erleben durften. 
Wir hatten immer viel Spass zusammen.
Das letzte Mal waren wir 2017 im Engadin in S-carl. Es ist doch noch gar nicht so lange her!
Liebe Gert, für die kommende Zeit, wünsche ich dir viel Kraft und Zuversicht. Ich bin immer für dich da.

Deine Marlis Faerber-Keller
Posted by Joanna Slawinska on March 17, 2021
Rest in peace, Prof. Andrew Majda. Sincere condolences to the Family.
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Posted by Xin Tong on March 12, 2022
Andy has left us for a year now. I have been writing this little piece during this time. Sorry it is in Chinese. I will translate it later:

2021年3月13日早晨,我收到楠哥的微信。我心里咯噔一下。该发生的果然还是发生了。
我博后时期的导师,Prof Andy Majda,在12号去世了。
Majda这个姓,华人一般翻译成马依达,虽然更准确的应该是麦达。因为他看上去比较老,我们一般也叫他老马。
老马的去世,其实也并不突然。2014年年底的时候他中了风,后来又得了帕金森。之后我每次见他就觉得他老了一圈。去年新冠病毒肆虐,他就一直躲在家里不出门。 老马膝下无儿女,他也不愿面见其他人。正常人都要憋出病来,更何况是久病的老人。2020年感恩节我写信问好,他的回信道非常怀念和我合作的那些日子,言辞间的诀别之意看得我潸然泪下。本来以为他能熬过新冠,见见好日子再走,可惜并没能熬过去。
老马 1949年出生于波兰第一代移民家庭,家里条件不好,父母对他似乎很粗鲁。他曾总结自己的火爆脾气是由此而来。他曾经是美式橄榄球队队员,并靠此拿了奖学金上了普渡。期间还需要去炼钢厂勤工俭学。令人惊讶的是,这样环境中成长出的老马其实是数学天才。他只用了三年就完成了在Stanford的博士学习。27岁便成为了UCLA的正教授。(下一个打破此记录的是陶哲轩)在这期间他完成了在PDE领域的多项重要的工作,成名立万。 在早年,应用数学还只是数学里面的一个小方向。在他的帮助下,UCLA,Princeton和NYU 的CAOS得以发扬壮大,很多之后著名的数学家是在他的指导或帮助下成才成名。
尽管建树颇丰,老马在学术届并不是人见人爱。这和他的不善言辞关系很大。我和他一开始合作的三个月,十分不上道,做出的结果少而且多有瑕疵。他对此十分不满。他多次直接跟我说如果再这样年底就解雇我。他还有次问我凭什么他一个一流的数学家要和一个三流博后合作。当我询问他我哪方面做的不好,需要改进,他就更加恼怒,说我应该自己想。这样的风格和我心目中的学者形象大相径庭,所以那三个月我过的异常痛苦。但是这样的锻炼,其实对我日后的科研发展是大有裨益的。在友善的表面下,科研界其实非常残酷。大家其实都很忙。如果工作不好或者没有意义,大部分人连看都不看,更不会跟你解释为什么工作做的不好。我在高层面上的锻炼和思考大多来自于当时和老马切磋的需求。
如果工作满意,其实老马是很友善的。我当时做的工作偏随机理论,其实并不怎么符合老马的兴趣和专长(他也曾表示当时招我只是为了填满博后名额)。但是老马一直很支持我做的各种结果,曾力挺我和相关专家见面。当年我工作找的焦头烂额,老马也时常来给我打气。此外,他常找机会带我去他喜爱的餐厅吃饭,给我讲讲当年的流金岁月。
老马后来有次说他是tough love。其实tough love远比友善的漠不关心更花心力。这不仅拯救了当时我迷惘的求学之路,也让我第一次见到一名学者对学术的真实想法和理念。我十分感谢命运令我遇到了老马,也感谢他中途没有放弃培养我。 据说,老马在最后的日子对自己曾经的言辞表示后悔,感觉伤害很多人。我一直很想让他知道其实他做的很好,至少帮助了我。尽管我多次隐约的表达了这份意思,但我也不知道他是否会为此欣慰,而且也永远不会知道了。
Posted by Xiaoming Wang on March 12, 2022
It just occurred to me that Andy has left us for a year already. He was such an inspiration to me, constantly raising challenging questions and providing penetrating insights. He was always there whenever I needed help. He is dearly missed.
Posted by Virginia Leary-Majda on March 4, 2022
Dear Friends of Andy and Gerta,
This is Andy and Gerta's sister-in-law. My late husband, John, was Andy's younger brother, John. I learned this morning from her neighbor that Gerta is in the hospital and unable to communicate. We are trying to find family and friends who are close to Gerta. Please contact me at Learymajda@aol.com if you can help us. Please keep Gerta in your prayers.
Regards, Virginia Leary-Majda
his Life

Dr. Andrew J. Majda Biography

(From his personal website)

Andrew J. Majda is the Morse Professor of Arts and Sciences at the Courant Institute of New York University.  He was born in East Chicago, Indiana on January 30, 1949. He received a B.S. degree from Purdue University in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1973.

Majda began his scientific career as a Courant Instructor at the Courant Institute from 1973-1975.  Prior to returning to the Courant Institute in 1994, he held professorships at Princeton University (1984-1994), the University of California, Berkeley (1978-1984), and the University of California, Los Angeles (1976-1978).

Majda's primary research interests are modern applied mathematics in the broadest possible sense merging asymptotic methods, numerical methods, physical reasoning and rigorous mathematical analysis.

He is well known for both his theoretical contributions to partial differential equations and his applied contributions to diverse areas such as scattering theory, shock waves, combustion, incompressible flow, vortex motion, turbulent diffusion, and atmosphere ocean science.

Majda is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received numerous honors and awards including the National Academy of Science Prize in Applied Mathematics, the John von Neumann Prize of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Gibbs Prize of the American Mathematical Society.

In 2012 he received the Wiener Prize of the American Mathematical Society and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and in 2015 Majda received the Lagrange Prize, awarded every four years by the International Council of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He has been awarded the Medal of the College de France, twice, and is a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  Majda has received three honorary doctorates including one from his undergraduate alma mater, Purdue University.  He has given plenary one hour lectures at both ICM (Kyoto 1990) and the first ICIAM (Paris 1987) and is both an AMS and SIAM Fellow.

In his years at the Courant Institute, Majda has created the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science with seven multi-disciplinary faculty to promote cross-disciplinary research with modern applied mathematics in climate modeling and prediction.

Recent stories

73th Birthday (January 30, 2022)

Shared by Gerta Keller on January 30, 2022
     Mein Liebling Majda

Happy Birthday! Today Jan. 30, 2022 is your 73th Birthday. It's the first time in our 47 years together that I no longer can celebrate your birthday with you. I will toast you with a glass of red wine, sitting on your favorite spot with the grand view out of our window into the garden and beyond.
       You're gone and I miss you terribly. It's been a very hard year living without you - much harder than I ever imagined it could be. I hope that wherever you are, you're doing well and having fun - if there is such a thing once our life ends. I wish you could come back and visit  occasionally.
       Since you departed on March 12, 2021, I've managed to muddle through life by working myself to exhaustion in the garden, on science and writing. It got my mind occupied and work done. When will it ever get better? There really was nothing else to do since the pandemic changed life for the worse. You know how it was during your last years and it still isn't much better. My only diversion were two trips to Switzerland, which were fun for the Honorary Doctorate at the University of Lausanne and seeing my sister Marlis and her family and grand kids. You know them well and would have enjoyed all very much. They miss you too. I know you wanted to live long enough to come with me to celebrate that honor and I'm very sad you couldn't. It would have been wonderful, but I felt you were there.
      Remember, a couple of weeks before you left for good I asked you which of the many hiking trips we took in the Swiss Alps was your favorite one. You answered without a moment of hesitation "Forno Hut" and we both burst out laughing. It was a 2-day trip with my sister Rosie, her husband Ernst and their 10-year old son Claudio. We hiked from Maloja up to the Forno Glacier and from there a 500 m steep uphill climb to the Swiss Alpine hut - the Forno Hut. By the time we reached Forno Hut, where we were spending the night, we all desperately needed to relief ourselves. The Forno Hut only had an outhouse built over a 500m cliff down to the Forno glacier. The hut was made of wood planks and corrugated metal roof, a flimsy door, and inside a 2 feet wide board with a perfectly round hole the size just small enough not to let you fall through to the glacier below.
       Rosie was the first to go and when she emerged, she laughed so hard she bent over holding her belly. We all just laughed with her not even knowing what it was about. Between laughter she said, "I can't tell, you've got to see it for yourself." So, I went next. I looked down the hole where a blast of cold air from the glacier hit my face. How was this going to work? No choice. I did my thing as fast as possible to not freeze up. And when I came out of the outhouse, I laughed just as hard as Rosie did. Ernst and Claudio followed, each one emerged the same way with laughter and shaking their heads but none would verbalize the experience - it was just out of this world and decent language was difficult come by to describe the experience.
      Majda, you were next. You had laughed along but you had been very apprehensive from the beginning saying you can't use that outhouse hanging over a cliff. You always had this fear of heights and struggled year after year to control that fear in the mountains. But there really was no way out for you - the outhouse was it. And so you went in. You took a long time and I began to fear about you having an anxiety attack. I was about to come in when you came out shell-shocked but your pants still in order. All four of us laughed and applauded and the other mountain climber sitting around in the late afternoon sun began to clap and laugh too. And then you joined in relieved. You had overcome the anxiety attack. It was over. Ever since then that Forno Hut trip has made us laugh. And by the end it became your favorite trip.
      As you were lying in bed still smiling with the memory, I said: "Majda, I'll take you there."
You looked at me and replied: "G, I can't walk anymore."
"I know, Liebling, but I will take you there and let you fly!" Then it dawned on you what I intended to do and you said: "G, you're not strong enough anymore to go there. If you can't, why not the Val Rosegg up to the Morteratsch glacier; it's a much easier hike and beautiful. And there is that great Restaurant at the end of the Val Rosegg with wonderful deserts!" I agreed it was a good second option.
       Well Majda, you were right for other reasons. Forno Hut is no longer accessible the way it was over the Forno Glacier because that glacier had melted away all the hundreds of meters of ice gone and with it the steep uphill destabilized and collapsed, no longer passable. Even the outhouse is gone replaced by a normal in-house toilet. Last summer the alps remained snowed because of high snowfall I couldn't take you there. Claudio, who has become a mountaineer and guide went to check out the alternate route, which is much longer and he told me it was not likely I could do both ways. So, this coming summer we'll take you on the Val Rosegg-Morteratsch glacier tour and stay overnight at that Swiss Alpine hut. I know you remember that trip we took, it was a long 9 km walk through the valley to the foot of the glacier and from there uphill. I'm sure much of the glacier is gone, but Claudio said there is still part there in the upper reaches by the hut. You will be happy to hear that your longtime friend and collaborator Boualem Khouider will join me on that trip with you along with Ernst and Claudio.
We will make sure to eat desert at that Restaurant in your memory.
Love you forever
G
Shared by wolfgang stinnesbeck on April 2, 2021
I have not seen Andy in the time when his illness started and got worse, so I will always remember him as the brilliant, strong, open-minded man that he was, a tolerant true academic. Gerta and Andy once took me along to an informal gathering with his fellow mathematicians, all laureates and even including Nobel price winners. We went there in shorts and T-shirts and had a beer with these people that were all similarly easy-going. This was a wonderful experience to see these relaxed people had not lost their sense for real life. I can only imagine the academic spheres that Andy used to work in, but I know his work has influenced our understanding of Earth and Atmosphere. Rest in peace, we miss you!

Andy's special birthday occasion on 2016

Shared by Nan Chen on March 29, 2021
This photo is a supplement to the video Reza uploaded yesterday (03/28/2021). i wish to share the story behind it.

We had a MURI annual meeting at the end of January 2016 at Courant Institute. During the meeting, many of us realized Andy's birthday was Jan 30, which was the second or the third day of the meeting. But Andy never mentioned this to us. Therefore, we wanted to give Andy a surprise.

We prepared a birthday cake and secretly brought it to the conference room. After the last scientific talk in the late afternoon, Andy said "Well. This is all for today". Then Dimitris, the leading actor we selected for this special "show", stood up, went to the front of the room and said "Oh, Andy, we actual have one more presentation today,"  "What???" said Andy. He looked several times at the program booklet and then looked at us. Everyone (who organized this "show") was nodding as a response to Dimitris. This made Andy even more confused. He looked at the booklet, looked at Dimitris and looked at everyone again. He wanted to say something but he did not know what to say. So he puzzledly stared at Dimitris eventually. Dimitris pretended to be very innocent. He paused a little bit and then said, in a very slow and peaceful way, "The last talk is to say happy birthday to Andy!". Then we presented the birthday cake to Andy. I can see from Andy's eye he's surprised but he's very happy and pleased when he eventually knew what was "the last presentation of the day".

I guess for many of us, this was the only time we ate Andy's birthday cake in a casual occasion (not in a formal birthday conference). The cake was only 6 inches. Each of us ate a very small piece. But this is an unforgettable memory. 

On the photo: Andy was blowing the candle. On the video: Andy had such a big smile.