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Louis Nirenberg passed away in New York City on January 26, 2020 at the age of 94.
He was a leading mathematician, whose fundamental contributions in the field of partial differential equations were hugely influential. This area of mathematics provides the language we use to describe—and the techniques we use to analyze—diverse problems from many fields, including geometry, physics, and engineering. Over the course of Louis' long and productive career his achievements included the solution of many important problems, and—equally significant—the introduction of many new ideas and techniques.
Lively and gregarious, Louis loved music, art, and film almost as much as he loved mathematics. He maintained close friendships with many colleagues around the world. He loved to travel, and to host visitors. He particularly enjoyed working with others; as a result, almost all his papers were coauthored. A gifted teacher and mentor, he had a formative influence on many students, postdocs and collaborators.
Additional information about Louis is available from many online sources, including:
- an obituary issued by the Courant Institute shortly after his death;
- a memorial tribute in the June/July 2021 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society, with remembrances from many colleagues as well as many photos;
- oral history and a brief biography at the Simons Foundation's Science Lives website;
- several essays and a video at the website associated with his 2015 Abel Prize, which Louis shared with John Nash; and
- an extended interview with Allyn Jackson in the April 2002 Notices of the American Mathematical Society.
Our memorial event for Louis will be nearly 3 years after his death. We would have liked to do it earlier, but the pandemic made that impractical. Fortunately, it is now possible. Surely it is still timely.