Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Professor auf Radl-Tour

Rita Meyer-Spasche has kindly provided a 1993 news clipping featuring Herb - her translation of the article is below. A PDF of the news clipping can be found here.

Article from:
M√ľnchner Merkur, Weekend issue, 11th/12th September 1993;
Pages with mixed news from Munich

Professor on biking tour

More than 2000 km (1250 miles) were covered on bike until now by Herb Keller (68), professor of applied mathematics and head of the computing center at the Caltech institute in California. The tour led him from Geneva through Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna to Prague and Munich, where he also cycled around the Olympic Center. He will go on to Vienna and Budapest. The ultimate destination is England, where he will work for one year, at Cambridge University.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More Memories

Please feel free to leave your remembrances of Herb below - no registration is required to leave comments.

Note: In order to make it easier for visitors to read all of the comments that others have left, I have changed settings to allow comment posting on this entry only. Comments left on the earlier blog entries have been re-posted here.


Thoughts and Memories

Here are a few of the responses that we received before this site opened:

From Tom Hou:
I am shocked by this sad news. Herb is one of the most important
founding members of our option, and has contributed greatly to the success of AMa/ACM. At the personal level, Herb has been one of
my best friends in the department. He was the main driving force
to bring me to Caltech. We will all remember his kindness, his wisdom, and his many outstanding contributions to applied and computational

From Dan Meiron:
this is very sad news. I think we all believed that with his infinite energy that Herb would be enriching our lives with his good humor and wisdom for much longer.

From Mike Holst:
I interacted with Herb very regularly in San Diego; he was
at our seminar last week. He had also become close with
my family over the last several years; my wife Mai and
I had him over for our holiday dinner just a few weeks ago.

Herb had an enormous impact on my life, both professionally
and personally. I admired him tremendously; he was just
fearless in every respect. He had become one of my closest
friends and colleagues over the last ten years. It fills me
with great sadness that we are no longer going to have the
honor and pleasure of his company.

My sympathies to all of you who also knew him well.

From Emmanuel Candes:
I am terribly shocked and sad. I saw him this week and he seemed in great shape.

I remember an independent mind who did not worry about what other people thought. He was at times eccentric, outspoken, but always charming and lovable. Above all, I admired his joyful spirit and appetite for life.

It hurts to think that that he will not attend the colloquium tomorrow. There will be a void and I will miss him greatly.

From Houman Owhadi:
Thanks for the email Sheila,
He stayed in great shape until the end. My thoughts go to his family...

From Cici Koenig:
This is so very sad! I'm actually crying as i write this and i didn't actually know him that well...........his death seems very tangible for some reason......

I always got such a kick out of him, he was always someone to chat up at the meetings and gatherings. always stories to tell, always feisty. I remember the first holiday party they hosted where Carol Carmichael was talking about how persistent he was about getting her to join his bike group. it would be nice (maybe) for them to mention something at the winter gathering in february but then again, at that point, maybe it won't be necessary. i expect between now and then there will be an out-pouring of sympathy, emotion and every thing that comes with this kind of thing.

The Mathematics Community Suffers the Loss of a Colleague

Herbert B. Keller, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology, passed away on Saturday, January 26. He was 82 years old.

Keller, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, earned his PhD in mathematics from New York University in 1954. After working as a research scientist and associate professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, he arrived at Caltech in 1965 as a visiting professor. He became a full professor two years later. At Caltech, Keller served as an executive officer for applied mathematics and director of Caltech's branch of the Center for Research on Parallel Computation. He retired in 2000 but remained an active researcher, attending seminars, workshops, and conferences related to his fields of interest.

At his 70th birthday celebration at Caltech in 1995, Keller was honored for his many contributions to applied math and scientific computation, including several innovative techniques to solve two-point boundary-value problems, which arise in such diverse areas as fluid mechanics, quantum physics, and electromagnetism. He is also credited with pioneering developments in bifurcation theory. Keller's methods are the basis for computer software that is widely used to derive numerical solutions to nonlinear equations. He also coauthored a classic numerical-analysis textbook with Eugene Isaacson, an eminent numerical analyst who had worked with Keller at the Courant Institute.

Keller is survived by his brother Joseph, a retired mathematics and mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University; a son, Steve, who lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington; a daughter, Debra, in Sacramento, California; and four grandchildren.