Fájdalommal tudatjuk, hogy intézetünk egykori munkatársa, Seress Ákos, az Ohio State University professzora életének 55. évében 2013. február 13-án Columbusban (Ohio, USA) elhunyt. Ákos az ELTE matematikus szakának elvégzése után egy évig volt az intézet munkatársa, majd doktori tanulmányok céljából az OSU-ra ment, ahol aztán állást is kapott. A késôbbiekben is gyakran töltött hosszabb-rövidebb idôszakokat a Rényi Intézetben.
A Diszkrét Matematika és az Algebra Osztály közös szemináriumán a
közeljövôben megemlékezünk róla és eredményeirôl.
Az alább olvasható nekrológot Babai László és Eamonn O'Brien
(a számítógépes csoportelmélet vezetô kutatója) írták Ákosról.
We have learned with great sadness that Akos Seress passed away
Wednesday evening, February 13, in Columbus, Ohio.
Akos was an outstanding mathematician, author of a book on
algorithmic group theory and over a hundred papers on asymptotic
and algorithmic group theory and combinatorics. He was an invited
speaker at the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians in
Madrid. In addition to his theoretical work, he was a major
contributor to the GAP computational algebra system. He was an
indefatigable architect of bridges between the computational group
theory and the theory of computing communities.
Born in Budapest on November 24, 1958, Akos studied mathematics at
Eotvos University, Budapest where he began publishing in
combinatorics while an undergraduate. He completed his Ph.D. at
the Ohio State University under Dijen Ray-Chaudhury. Subsequently
he entered the field of algorithmic group theory in a series of
joint papers with Babai and Luks on the complexity of permutation
group algorithms and wrote the definitive monograph on the subject.
He continued with a series of important papers on the statistical
theory of finite simple groups with Bill Kantor and others; this
line of work contributed to a recent definitive result on the
complexity of algorithms for matrix groups over finite fields by
Akos and coauthors. He has also extensively contributed to the
asymptotic theory of permutation groups, vertex-transitive graphs,
extremal combinatorics, and the theory of designs.
Motivated by the theoretical results on algorithms for permutation
groups, Akos pioneered the implementation of these algorithms in
the GAP computational algebra system. Developed in the 1990s, with
the cooperation and support of the Aachen group, Akos's packages
delivered, for the first time, practical performance backed up by
theoretical analysis. His modular design and black-box techniques
allow an easy adaptation to other representations; his work is
widely used today as infrastructure both for permutation groups and
for matrix groups. More recently Akos and Max Neunhoeffer have
developed efficient implementations of a suite of algorithms for
Akos has been a tireless builder of communities, his own work and
example demonstrating the bridge between the "red-hats," those who
create "paper-algorithms" with proven asymptotic performance
guarantees, and the "green-hats," the computational group theorists
who demand working code to study the stucture of concrete groups.
Akos, along with Bill Kantor, has been a chief organizer of a
series of meetings that brought these two communities together.
Akos spent most of his professional career at the Ohio State
University, with extended visits to the University of Western
Australia. He died at the age of 54 of renal cell carcinoma, a
particularly aggressive form of cancer, diagnosed only six months
ago. The disease struck him at the height of his creative powers.
His paper "Construction of 2-Closed M-Representations" received the
Distinguished paper award at ISSAC 2012 (Intl. Symp. on Symbolic
and Algebraic Manipulation) and was hailed as "a groundbreaking
work" that "marks a turning point in Majorana Theory." His most
recent work, with Harald Helfgott, under publication in the Annals
of Mathematics, gives a long-sought bound on the diameter of the
alternating and symmetric groups and represents a tour de force in
the study of the geometry of finite simple groups.
Akos has been a most generous friend, colleague, and mentor. His
passing will be felt deeply by all around the globe whose lives he
touched and whose careers he enriched. Our hearts go out to his
wife Sherry and his son Laszlo.
-- Laszlo Babai and Eamonn O'Brien