Friday, November 16, 2007

Gene H Golub (1932 - 2007)


We are saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of Gene Howard Golub on November 16th around 9:00am.

We have set up this memorial site for Gene's friends, family, and fans to electronically gather, mourn, and celebrate our dear friend.

Please leave your fond memories and best wishes below.

228 comments:

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tong zhang said...

Gene is a great advisor, always passionate, generous and supportive of his students.

I feel blessed working with him, and deeply indebted to him for his kindness and constant support. He is inspirational to my career and personal life. I am going to miss him a lot.

Thomas Witelski said...

Gene Golub made great contributions to linear algebra, but I'll always remember him for the kindness and generosity he's shown me from the first time I met him (when I applied to graduate school) to just a few weeks ago when I saw him at Oxford. Thank you Gene, you'll be greatly missed!

Bern said...

I first met Gene through my wife Diana Forsythe (whose father George helped bring Gene to Stanford)... He was always a gracious host & dinner companion, even to those of us who knew nothing about numerical analysis, & I'm very grateful for his generosity of spirit to Diana & her mother Alexandra after George's death. Others' comments make it clear that Gene was not only a mathematical giant, but also a real mensch.

Gerard said...

Dear friends,

there are some pictures of Gene, taken during the next to last meeting he attended in Marseilles (France) in october at the conference web site

http://www-lmpa.univ-littoral.fr/M2A07/

Gerard Meurant

Chris Johnson said...

We have so many memories of Gene, it is impossible to condense them into a single short note. But the last time we saw him, this fall
in Oxford just a few weeks before his passing, was typical of our
encounters with him.

We gathered for a delightful dinner at Anne Trefethen's home with Gene and Ian and Di Duff. After dinner there was lively conversation about a wide range of topics, including Gene and Katie talking about how wonderful the London theatre was and reminiscing about plays they had seen. In the morning, I received email from Gene saying
he had bought tickets for us to see Rafta, Rafta at the National Theatre in London for the next day, and that Jack Dongarra would be
joining us for the play and dinner too.

We met Gene and Jack at the theatre and enjoyed the comic tale of
close-knit Indian family life in England. It was entirely characteristic of Gene that we didn't leave the theatre until after a lengthy browse in the bookstore. In fact, we don't think we ever went out socially with Gene without ending up at a bookstore at some point. He then walked us along the river so Katie could walk across the Millennium Bridge. We discussed architecture, modern art, friends, and how an understanding of the brevity of life concentrates the mind on what is really important. After crossing the bridge we went to an Indian restaurant where Gene had recently had a wonderful dinner with Orly Alter. During dinner, which was indeed delicious, Gene regaled us with his tales of recent travel, politics, people, and the umpteenth
honorary degree he was about to receive from the ETH. He was in fine form that evening, and though he reflected on the past and his life in science, there was no hint of illness. We had no idea that when we parted that evening after dinner that it would be the last time we saw Gene.

We will miss Gene tremendously, but take some comfort in the wonderful remembrances shared here by others.

Chris Johnson and Katie Coles

Bill Gear said...

Gene was a leader for our field and an inspiration to the newer members throughout his whole career. While still a graduate student at Illinois he helped fellow graduate students (like myself) and his contributions after that are a legend. Two new SIAM journals (SISC and SIMAX), effectively founding ICIAM, a leader in promoting internet use to support the community, and on and on. We mourn a great friend, and marvel at the legacy he has passed on.

Theodore said...

Gene was a wonderful man. I had the great honor to meet him at a conference in Hersonissos, Crete at 2006 and I had the privilege to see his lecture. It was a leader in the field of Scientific Computing and Numerical Analysis. I'm going to miss him

Theodore Simos said...

Gene was a wonderful man. I had the great honor to meet him at a conference in Hersonissos, Crete at 2006 and I had the privilege to see his lecture. It was a leader in the field of Scientific Computing and Numerical Analysis. I'm going to miss him

Michael said...

Gene Golub's friends and colleagues will gather around the globe on
Friday February 29, 2008, the date that would have been his 19th birthday, to mourn his passing and celebrate his life. In addition to a memorial and a technical day at Stanford, events will also take place in Adelaide, Canberra, Hong Kong, Leuven and Oxford. All friends and colleagues of Gene are invited to attend any of these events. See
http://www.cs.nyu.edu/overton/genearoundtheworld/

If you would like to organize an event to celebrate Gene in your corner of the globe on Feb 29, send me email with the subject header "Gene", to make sure it gets past my spam filter. I will put you in
touch with anyone else "in your neighborhood" who also writes, and add a link to your event on this page. There are no constraints on the kind of event: anything Gene would have enjoyed, from a day of scientific talks dedicated to Gene, to a special party in your home that is open to his friends and colleagues.

Best regards to all
Michael Overton

Spann said...

Gene's CME302 lectures were always fun and worth attending. I really liked the way he wrote notes in his tablet PC, which was projected onto the wall in place of the chalkboard. This was a really good way of giving lecture, and it let him post the notes online afterwards instead of having to erase the chalkboard. It is really sad that Gene won't be here next year to teach the new students.

--Andrew Spann

Karen Benaroya Marcus said...

I knew Gene as Bernice's son, Al's brother, Ellen and Neil's Uncle and my mother's (Helen Ronen) childhood friend. He came from humble beginnings and I really had no clue about his life at Stanford and around the world. The last time we spoke was a very sad day, the memorial for his nephew. He was an admired Uncle. The Golub's have always felt like family. He has touched so many--may we feel peace...

Karen Benaroya Marcus

Supratim said...

I met Prof. Golub during a workshop at IIT Kharagpur, India, in 2007 January. I am a research scholar in the department of electrical engineering of the IIT. It was a great experience for me to be with him throughout the workshop. It was a painful day when I knew his death news. It's definitely a great loss as he is no more with us.

Supratim Gupta. IIT Kharagpur, India.

Amit Manna said...

I knew Gene more as a friend of the family - as my godfather - rather than a brilliant computer scientist. He was a man who loved to tell jokes, loved to laugh. He was always eager to share interesting information ranging from cs to world issues. An amazing scholar, an amazing lecturer, and to me, an amazing person. Gene, I'm grateful I was able to know you and I'll miss you.

Christian said...

I first met Gene at the Stanford 50 conference celebrating his 75th birthday in 2007.

He was incredibly friendly and warming, inviting me (and my advisor) several times to his house at Stanford, even though he didn't know me from before, and despite that I was not a particularly important part of the conference.

A world-class academic talent combined with the most welcoming personality I have ever met. Gene was outstanding. Even though I only met you briefly, I will remember you for the rest of my life. Thanks, Gene.

Leif Christian Larsen
Former NTNU grad student

Lenore said...

Similar to Gene, I too love matrices and arrays. I was fortunated to be mentored by someone thoughout my career but when he passed a few years ago I reached out to Gene as a mentor. Over the past year we talked through email and we talked about working together. I felt we had a theoretical bond and I could get to know him and learn from him. Just as I felt we were beginning to have fun professionally I heard that he passed. I teased him the last time we emailed. I said, "You are Mr. SVD but I am the "Array Lady". He laughed.
I will miss getting to know him, getting to work with him, getting to be his friend as all of you are.

Lenore said...

Similar to Gene, I too love matrices and arrays. I was fortunate to be mentored by someone thoughout my career but when he passed a few years ago I reached out to Gene as a mentor. Over the past year we talked through email and we talked about working together. I felt we had a theoretical bond and I could get to know him and learn from him. Just as I felt we were beginning to have fun professionally I heard that he passed. I teased him the last time we emailed. I said, "You are Mr. SVD but I am the "Array Lady". He laughed.
I will miss getting to know him, getting to work with him, getting to be his friend as all of you are.

Jacques said...

I only just heard of Gene's passing away a couple of minutes ago. I was overcome by such a deep sadness, even though I only met Gene once in my life for about an hour. That was a couple of years ago on his visit to Berlin. I just wanted some professional advice from him, and we ended up chit-chatting about this and that and everything. Especially about his love for his town of birth, Chicago, where I lived for a while too.

His legendary book is my everyday companion, and every time I take it in my hands it reminds me of the fine, warm-hearted man I got to know on our encounter.

Anonymous said...

You are a good teacher! You are my example!You are for ever in your student's heart.

Anonymous said...

He was an incredible and genius man! Peace be upon him!

Remember Natasha said...

I am so sorry to read about your loss. One thing that has helped me since we lost Natasha (http://www.remembernatasha.com) to a horrific murder is I have memorial keepsakes of her. I bought jewelry that I wear in her memory. I have also planted a memorial garden with a water pond. I found a lot of affordable memorial statues and memorial jewelry at http://our-memorial-garden.com/ Memorial items, urns, plaques, and statues can be so expensive if purchased from a funeral home. We could barely afford to bury our sweet Natasha so I know how hard it can be. You and your family are in our prayers during this difficult time.

Doug said...

More uses for the singular value decomposition ... Netflicks and movie choices

Gene will have a long legacy ...

NY Times Netflicks and SVD article

Anonymous said...
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Chao, Hongyang said...
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Chao, Hongyang said...

In 1994, Gene invited me to visit SCCM. I stayed there for a year and left for Texas. Once he sent a greeting to me and asked "How is Texas? Do you miss here?" I went to Stanford for a very short visit od Gene in Nov. of 2005. He was very happy and looked very healthy then. We took a picture in his office. Here is the picture link.

http://ss.sysu.edu.cn/faculty/chhy/images/golub_chao2.jpg

It was a shock to know Gene has been gone. I thought I would visit him again once I got another chance. Stanford has a lot of wonderful professors. Gene is one of them. "Gene, how is the heaven? You will be missed forever."

Chao, Hongyang said...

In 1994, Gene invited me to visit SCCM. I stayed there for a year and left for Texas. Once he sent a greeting to me and asked "How is Texas? Do you miss here?" I went to Stanford for a very short visit od Gene in Nov. of 2005. He was very happy and looked very healthy then. We took a picture in his office. Here is the picture link.

http://ss.sysu.edu.cn/faculty/chhy/images/golub_chao2.jpg

It was a shock to know Gene has been gone. I thought I would visit him again once I got another chance. Stanford has a lot of wonderful professors. Gene is one of them. "Gene, how is the heaven? You will be missed forever."

Antal J. Gálai said...

Great men miss for long time, or longer, for ever. I often refer SVD to students in my course on Computer Vision in Civil Engineering and always tell on methods who crated. Asking and telling full name is my habit as well. Astonishing Golub's teacher (thesis adviser) was A. Taub(e). Both names mean the same bird, Pigeon, in Croatian/Serbian and German respectively.

雪糕 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In C.S 235 back in the more innocent days of 1982, Gene referred to SVD as a Stanford social disease. Truly a great teacher and inspirator.

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