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 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

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,


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 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.

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.

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.


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.

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
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
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.

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!

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.
Posted by Yuxi Zheng on March 17, 2021
Remembrance of Andy J Majda
I am saddened to learn the passing away of Andy. I wish he were able to pull another decade to age 82. The Parkinson’s disease is horribly debilitating and I was so sorry that he got inflicted upon. I recall the healthy good time at his 60th birthday celebration in Fudan, China, he and Gerta were sweet in sharing how they met. I remember he and Gerta invited my wife Xinping and I for dinner at their Princeton mansion in 1991, with pleasant classical music playing in the background, delicious and well-prepared Swiss fondue (frying in hot oil on site), and most importantly the warm welcome and relaxing friendship, despite sharp debate in mathematics at work. Gerta showed many cute turtles in her basement as her children to my wife and me, at the time we did not have children yet. Over the years I enjoyed many letters of recommendation from Andy in supporting my job applications and career, valued his encouragement, and treasured his appreciation of my work. I learned a lot from his insightful observations in research, modern methodology, elegant presentation, diligence, devotion to the advancement of mathematics and science, as well as his healthy habit of regular physical exercise and work-hard play-hard philosophy. I admire his enormous contribution to mathematics and science and his love with Gerta. I consider myself fortunate to have met with Andy and Gerta, a pair of contemporary giants in science and in love. I wish Gerta refrain from sadness but embrace happiness instead and Andy rest in peace.
Yuxi Zheng
The Pennsylvania State University.
Posted by George Kiladis - NOAA Fed... on March 17, 2021
Andy was surely one of a kind. As a scientist, always after the theoretical root of a problem, but always keenly aware of its practical implications too. What impressed me the most was how willing Andy was, on some rare occasions, to abandon a view when confronted with observational reality. But you certainly had to have a compelling story for that to happen! As a friend he was very kind and generous. I have so many fond memories of great evening conversations with Andy and Gerta during visits to New York and engaging with Andy at various conferences over the years. His passion for science, appreciation of the natural world and the human condition, and his friendship will be deeply missed.
Posted by Terence O'Kane on March 17, 2021
I first met Andy at TMB at ICTP in the mid 2000s. I had been working with Jorgen Frederiksen on statistical dynamics and turbulence closures inspired by Kraichnan's work. At the time few people seemed interested in those difficult problems. Over the course of a week I had many long and interesting discussions with him on closure theory and atmospheric flows. He was one of the few people I had met who was not only interested, but who could instantly understand seemingly everything about the problem.

Whenever I met him after that time he was always generous with his time, always offering sharp insights and posing challenging questions and great to argue over details with. This seems to be a not uncommon experience for many of us.

My deepest condolences to his family.  
Posted by Ian Grooms on March 16, 2021
I met Andy in 2008 and was a postdoc with him from 2011-2015. I fondly remember lunches with Andy in the Courant lounge on the top floor. We discussed anything but work: football, politics, economics, restaurants, history. I remember remarking once that I needed coffee to counteract the tryptophan in a turkey sandwich that would make me sleepy, and he said that that was a myth. I looked it up and, as usual, he was right. I owe him a lot and will miss him.
Posted by John Harlim on March 16, 2021
I met Andy in early 2006 when he interviewed me for a postdoc job.
My first impression of Andy from that meeting is that he is a genuine person with warm eyes. Then the rest of my academic journey is unfolded. His non-conservative approaches in doing research played central roles in my career.

One thing I truly appreciate is that Andy genuinely cares about math and sciences. From many years of knowing him, I am always amazed by not only the interest but also by the energy and efforts he had, for engaging in science discussions with people of various scientific backgrounds and listening to various talks. I mean seriously paying attention without being distracted by screening on a laptop or phone, I hardly remember seeing anyone else who can do that consistently.

Beyond being an academic “father” who supported my career, he was a friend. I remember he would take time on busy days to went to lunch with me and other postdocs/students, discussed various things, from basketball, football, soccer, food, wines, politics, social issues, etc. I will miss those great times with you and remember you not only as a great mathematician but for your kindness as a person. Rest in peace.
Posted by Parthasarathi Mukhopadhya... on March 16, 2021
I came in contact with Andy precisely on March 25, 2012. My association as an active collaborator lasts for nine years. I wrote the first email to Andy requesting to learn more about multi cloud stochastic parameterization which finally happened through a historic collaboration under "Monsoon Mission" programme of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India between UVIC, NYU and IITM, Pune. Andy's warm gesture and huge encouragement provided us the needed impetus to proceed with the novel idea of using stochastic multicloud parameterization in the NCEP CFS model to improve the fidelity of simulation of Indian Summer Monsoon. The guidance provided by Andy throughout the project will be in our grateful remembrance. I could see Andy in person in a conference at ICTS, Bangalore during 21-24 January 2013 and I post few eternal photographs here with Boualem, myself, Mitch Moncrieff, Woitech and Andy. Subsequently Andy and Gerta were kind enough to visit IITM, Pune and deliver four lectures including a public lecture under the banner of Indian Meteorological Society, Pune chapter. Andy and Gerta visited India during 6-25 December 2013 and they were in Pune during 6-19 December 2013. Four lectures and its video recordings will soon be made available at IITM website. The topics on which he delivered excellent talks were on 1) Multiscale Multicloudes Models for the Tropics , 2) Multi Cloud Models Basic Features and GCM Parametrizatioin, 3) Improving Parameterization through Stochastic Multiclouds Models, 4) Applied Math Perspectives on stochastic Climate Models. Andy was so kind that he even visited my residence and posed for a photo with my father. I and my group in IITM have learned so much from Andy and his works and i his guidance, mentorship will be forever remembered. We will greatly miss Andy forever. Will pray for his noble soul to rest in peace.
Posted by Joseph Biello on March 16, 2021
Andy pushed us all hard. As his postdoc, he could push me very hard - but that push made me fly. 

We know that he pushed himself so much harder.  He was willing and able to work to understand a whole new field of research (atmospheric sciences) in mid-career after having already done great work in PDE/combustion. He would engage with everyone: observational scientists, numericists, theorists and mathematicians. 

I have been amazed at how he could keep an amazing variety of problems in his mind at the same time, and was able to provide deep insights into so many of these problems. 

To the community at large, he was a pugilist and proud of his work. He had the right to be proud, and knowing more where he came from, I understood why he was so scrappy.  Privately, he was a kind man and a good friend.  Of all the things he accomplished in his career, he seemed proudest of having married Gerta. 

My sincere condolences to you, Gerta, and to all of us for having lost such a great mathematician and teacher. 

His life's work is eternal.

Posted by Leslie Smith on March 16, 2021
I was lucky and privileged to be a part of Andy's world. He supported me for my entire career, and had an enormous impact on my development as a scientist. Most important, he was a friend. There are many memories that I cherish, among them a wonderful dinner with Andy and Gerta in Vancouver.
Posted by Aimé Fournier on March 15, 2021
I first met Andy around 1995 or so when I was a student and e-mailed him about his work, and he kindly offered to talk to me on the phone about my questions. I often recall the many great occasions at his NCAR visits, to discuss science, but also culture and society with him. He inspired me and so many others to pursue both mathematical elegance, and research that benefits the world. I looked forward to see him again ---now I can just treasure the memories.
Posted by Xin Tong on March 14, 2021
Life has never been easy for you. May you rest in peace!
Posted by Qiu Yang on March 13, 2021
I am one of Andy's latest Ph.D. students and Postdocs. I have been working with him since 2012. During the past 8 years, I learned so much from him, not only about tropical dynamics and applied math but also about his scientific philosophy and spirit. I saw his diligence and passion for mathematics and science. I also saw his strong willingness to fight his Parkinson.

In my first few years as a graduate student, he would sometimes criticize my work very harshly, which gave me a hard time to suffer. But I know he is trying to push me to improve myself in his own way. I still remember that once in a group meeting, he described this as tough love. In fact, after I made some improvement, he would generously offer his praise to me and encourage me to keep improving.

Being his student is probably the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me. I am afraid that I could not become a scientist and mathematician as successful as him, but I will always pursue to be a better person like him.

May his soul rest in peace.

Qiu Yang

Posted by Zhiqin Xu on March 14, 2021
Forever miss Prof. Majda.

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