Farewell Alex

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Farewell Alex

Alex GershmanWith great sadness, the SAM and SPTM TCs say farewell to our esteemed colleague and beloved friend Alex Gershman who passed away on August 12, 2011. Alex was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, in 1962. He studied Radiophysics at the Nizhny Novgorod State University and started his research career at the Gorky Radiotechnical Institute where he completed his PhD. He then joined the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Science. In 1994, Alex and his wife Olia started their journey abroad. After a short period at EPFL, Switzerland, he was awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the Signal Theory Group of Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, where he stayed until 1999. Next, he became Associate Professor at McMaster University, Canada, and appointed Full Professor there three years later. He received the 2001 Wolfgang Paul Award “in recognition of outstanding achievements in science”, from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2003, Alex returned to Germany and founded the highly recognized Smart Antennas Research Team at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In 2005, he joined Darmstadt University of Technology, as Professor and Head of the Communication Systems Group. His research interests span wide areas of signal processing and wireless communications, with primary emphasis on statistical signal and array processing.

Alex has been a brilliant and highly accomplished researcher – one of the very best in our area. Several papers that he coauthored received best paper awards from IEEE. Alex won the 2008 Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council and appointed Fellow of IEEE at the age of 42. He was an outstanding teacher, advisor, and friend, known for his inspiring encouragement of young researchers. Alex was a citizen of the world. As IEEE SPS President MosKaveh put it, Alex was a “gentle bear of a friend, in addition to a brilliant technical and professional colleague. His mark on signal processing will live on just as will his generosity and friendship in our hearts”. Throughout his life, he permeated enthusiasm and energy, and fought bravely with remarkable courage and dignity. As he himself expressed in his last days, he was grateful for every day he was able to spend with his wife and son. Surely, Alex is smiling at us now. We miss you.

Alex's full eulogy.

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