Vladimir Voevodsky, a truly extraordinary and original mathematician who made remarkable advances in algebraic geometry, and whose most recent work concerned rewriting the foundations of mathematics to make them suitable for computer proof verification, died at age 51 on September 30 in Princeton, New Jersey. Voevodsky was professor in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), a position he held since 2002.
Voevodsky was able to handle highly abstract ideas to solve concrete mathematical problems. He had a deep understanding of classical homotopy theory, where the objects considered are flexible, meaning continuous deformations are neglected, and was able to transpose its methods in the very rigid world of algebraic geometry. This enabled him to construct new cohomology theories for algebraic varieties, which he used to prove the Milnor and Bloch-Kato conjectures, relating K-theory groups of fields and Galois cohomology.
“When I first saw the basic definitions in motivic cohomology I thought, ‘This is much too naïve to possibly work,’” said Pierre Deligne, professor emeritus in the School of Mathematics. “I was wrong, and Voevodsky, starting from those ‘naïve’ ideas, has given us extremely powerful tools.”
More recently, Voevodsky had worked in type-theoretic formalizations of mathematics and automated proof verification. He was working on new foundations of mathematics based on homotopy-theoretic semantics of Martin-Löf type theories. This led him to introduce a new, very interesting “univalence” axiom.
“Vladimir was a beloved colleague whose contributions to mathematics have challenged and enriched the field in deep and lasting ways,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor. “He fearlessly attacked the most abstract and difficult problems with an approach that was exceptionally innovative yet decidedly practical. Most recently, he was focused on developing tools for mathematicians working in highly advanced areas, such as higher-dimensional structures, laying out a grand vision for the future of mathematics. He was a pioneer and a catalyst and will be greatly missed by the Institute community.”
Born in Moscow on June 4, 1966, Voevodsky was awarded the Fields Medal in 2002 at age 36, shortly after his appointment as professor in the School of Mathematics. He had spent the prior three years (1998–2001) as a long-term member.
In addition to the Fields Medal, Voevodsky’s many contributions in the field of mathematics have been recognized by numerous honors and awards. He received a Sloan Fellowship from 1996–98, Clay Prize Fellowships in 1999, 2000, 2001, and many National Science Foundation grants for his work. Voevodsky also was named an honorary professor of Wuhan University (2004) and received an honorary doctorate from University of Gothenburg (2016). He was a member of the European Academy of Sciences.
Voevodsky is survived by his former wife, Nadia Shalaby, their two daughters, Natalia Dalia Shalaby and Diana Yasmine Voevodsky, his aunt, Irina Voevodskaya, and extended family in Russia and around the world. A gathering to honor Voevodsky’s life and legacy took place at the Institute on October 8. A funeral service will be held in Moscow on December 27, followed by a mathematical conference in honor of his work on December 28 at the Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Institute will convene an international conference on Voevodsky’s extraordinary and original work September 29–30, 2018.
Nancy Campbell Weaver
Nancy Campbell Weaver, 80, passed away Wednesday, October 4, 2017.
Born in Petersburg, Va., she was a resident of Princeton for over 50 years. She attended Duke University and earned a BS in pharmacy from the Medical College of Virginia. It was during this time that she met her husband, Bill Weaver, in Charlottesville, Va. They moved to Princeton in 1963, when Bill was invited to the Institute for Advanced Study.
Nancy was an active member of the Princeton community. She was an EMT and volunteered for the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad for nearly 20 years (’79-’99). As her children matured, she returned to pharmacy, working briefly in Petersburg, Va. then in the Princeton area.
Nancy enjoyed religious studies and attended courses at the Princeton Theological Seminary and frequently participated at weekly Talmud study at The Jewish Center of Princeton. She loved learning, reading of any kind, genealogy, dolls, and antiques.
She was the wife of the late David William Weaver, III, a mathematician. She was also predeceased by her sister Beth Daniel. She is survived by two daughters and one son-in-law: Sallie Campbell Weaver, a lawyer, of Los Angeles, Calif.; Drs. Yaffa and Mark Brown, of Mobile, Ala.; as well as her younger brother, Arthur Gill; 3 grandchildren; and 5 nieces and nephews.
Funeral services and burial were at 11 a.m. on Sunday, October 8 at Washington Cemetery, 104 Deans Rhode Hall Road, Deans, N.J. Memorial donations may be made to the Rabbi’s discretionary fund at The Jewish Center of Princeton. Funeral arrangements were by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road, Ewing.
Our sweet and gentle daughter, Sonja Carl Goodwin Olson, died early Monday, October 9, with her parents and her caregiver of many years at her bedside. Her death resulted from acute complications of a progressive and degenerative neurologic disease known as “NBIA disorder.”
Born on the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13, 1995, she was a lifelong resident of Griggstown, New Jersey. She was proud to have graduated in June from the Midland School in North Branch. Over the years, Midland created the perfect environment for Sonja to flourish. She especially enjoyed being a Girl Scout, school dances, music therapy, jigsaw puzzles, and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books. She filled our homes with her arts and crafts projects, jewelry, and mosaics.
Sonja charmed people with her beautiful smile and quirky sense of humor. She loved her sister and brothers, who were able to be with her before her passing. She is survived by her mother Megan Thomas and husband Tom Bodenberg; father Robert Olson and fiancée Irene Strapko; siblings Robert Olson and wife Sara Probasco Olson of Portland, Maine; sister Gwyneth Olson and husband Kendrick Smith of Princeton and Toronto; brother Nevin Olson and wife Allison O’Brien of Somerset; her nieces whom she adored, Lucy and Livy Olson; her grandparents, Lowell and Judy Thomas of Blue Hill, Maine; and grandmother Jacqueline Olson of Meadowbrook, Pa.; and by her beloved caregiver of many years, Gloria Orantes.
Her family is thankful for the compassion and expertise of the St. Peter’s University Hospital pediatric intensive care unit nurses and doctors.
A mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday, October 17, at 2 p.m. at All Saints’ Church, 16 All Saints’ Road, Princeton. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Saul Funeral Home, Hamilton Square.
Contributions in Sonja’s memory may be made to The Midland Foundation, P.O. Box 5026, North Branch, NJ 08876, and to NBIA Disorders Association, 2082 Monaco Court, El Cajon, CA 92019-4235.
Jean Millis Gilpin
Jean Millis Gilpin, age 86, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 in Greensboro, Vt. Her husband of 62 years, Robert (Bob) Gilpin, was by her side. A teacher at heart, Jean nurtured, inspired, and advocated for others throughout her life. The stories are too numerous to tell, but include her bringing civics lessons to life by turning her elementary school classroom into the country of Gilpania, successfully fighting for the acceptance of the first Jewish member of her college sorority, and inspiring others to take chances and reach for distant goals.
One of those she inspired was her husband, who still shakes his head in wonder at the woman he credits with transforming him from a kid from Enosburg Falls, Vt., with less than stellar grades, to a world-renowned scholar and Eisenhower professor of International Affairs, emeritus at Princeton University.
Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, to John Schoff and Katherine Millis, Jean moved with her family in 1941 to Burlington, Vt., where her father began his tenure as president of the University of Vermont. After leaving Vermont to spend her freshman year at Lawrence College, she joined the Class of 1953 at UVM, where she pledged the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, served on the student government association, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board (the senior women’s honor society).
Jean earned her first master’s degree in international politics from Western Reserve University (the second was from Trenton State in education). She subsequently worked at the United Nations prior to marrying Bob in 1955. Bob and Jean moved to Princeton in 1962, where they raised their children, Linda, Beth, and Rob. Over the next 30+ years, Jean was active in many community organizations, taught elementary school, and welcomed a stream of her children’s friends and Princeton University students into their home.
Jean Gilpin’s interests and accomplishments were many, and included foreign languages (particularly Japanese), classical music, innovative teaching methodologies, playing the piano, and cold water swimming. She could be found on Sunday afternoons, sandwiched between morning services at Trinity Episcopal church and an afternoon walk at Herrontown Woods or Marquand Park, deep in discussion with Bob about the Sunday Times’ reporting of the week’s news. Jean was a champion debater of the State of Vermont, so Bob wisely resigned himself to losing any and all arguments about current affairs, or any other topic for that matter.
Bob’s sabbaticals in London and Paris were highlights of their family life, along with summer trips to visit grandparents on Cape Cod, Lake Champlain, and Northfield, Vt. After Bob’s retirement, he and Jean moved to their home in Greensboro, Vt, and used it as a home base while traveling the world.
A Girl Scout leader, Jean was the epitome of the lyrics known by Girl Scouts everywhere: “Make new friends but keep the old.” Bonds formed in childhood, during her college years, and while living in Princeton and Greensboro, were nurtured throughout her life and remained vitally important to her.
But in the end, after the world travels, the parenting, the joys, and the struggles, it all comes back to Bob and Jean. Jean was Bob’s partner, editor, and co-author of eight books that have been published in dozens of countries and a multitude of languages, and several of which are considered seminal works. Perhaps the best vignette of their lives together can be found in a profile from the Vermont Quarterly:
“The Gilpins have a close, if occasionally cantankerous relationship, as happens when a couple lives and works together so closely. At one point when he asks if she’s going to talk or let him talk, she laughs merrily and says, “Oh, I’m going to interrupt you, of course. The way I always have.” And they move on, telling their stories, about the long-ago debates Bob would spark among Harvard intellectuals when he introduced the concept of an intersection between politics and economics … about the progressive teaching ideas Jean put into practice … about hearing a beautiful voice singing from the balcony across the street from their apartment in Paris and looking over to see Joan Baez … about how the word around the UVM campus in the ’50s, according to Jean, was that Bob was a radical. Whether this was part of the appeal she doesn’t say ….”
Jean is survived by her husband Robert G. Gilpin, Jr., children Linda Gilpin and Beth Gilpin (both of Waterbury, Vt.) and Robert M. Gilpin of Newton, Mass., and her sister Alice Grover Vest. She will be missed by grandchildren Jamie Benson, Hazen and Riley Powell, Everett, Jeremy, and Toby Gilpin, and Chase and Chelsea Benson (now Laukaitis), all of whom she taught, whether to swim, to read, or the proper usage of the phrase “lie down” vs. “lay down.” Bob, Linda, Beth, and Rob wish to express their deep and heartfelt appreciation to Brenna Gonyo, whose skill, compassion, and dedication have been a blessing over the past four years.
Services will be held in Vermont and Princeton; details to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the University of Vermont or Greensboro Nursing Home in Greensboro, Vt., whose staff provided Jean with comfort and care in her final months. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury, Vt. Condolences can be sent to Beth Gilpin, 480 Black Bear Hollow, Waterbury, VT, or online at www.perkinsparker.com.
Jane Merchant Hanna
Jane Merchant Hanna, 82, of Old Chatham, New York, died Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at home surrounded by her family. She spent her last years in Princeton, New Jersey to be closer to family.
She was born in Minneapolis, Minn. to the late Ralph Merchant and Louise (Gorham) Merchant, where she lived until attending Smith College, graduating in 1957. Although she remained on the East Coast for the rest of her life, she always attributed her spirit (which was formidable), determination (equally formidable), and down-to-earth attitudes to her Midwestern heritage.
Jane had two careers: teaching and landscape design. She began her teaching career at the Buckingham School in Cambridge, Mass. and as a middle school math teacher at Albany Academy for Girls after the family moved to Albany N.Y. She retired in 1980, to fulfill her lifelong passion for gardens and gifted eye for design, starting Wendover Farm Nursery. She was also involved in Tannery Pond Concerts, an organization committed to bringing world class chamber music to the Berkshires at an affordable price.
She met her husband, John Hanna, Jr. in Cambridge, Mass. Married in 1958, they lived in Cambridge until 1969 when they moved briefly to Albany before moving to their beloved Wendover Farm in Old Chatham, N.Y. Over 47 years together on the farm, they planted beautiful and abundant gardens, filled the barns with animals, and created a welcoming gathering spot for friends, family, and animals. Jane always loved animals, and collected an impressive array over the years, including a fair number of strays that wandered into the yard and never left. Nothing gave Jane more pleasure than to share Wendover with family and friends. Neighbors and guests were always welcome to gather by the pond for a cookout next to the firebowl. Over the years, Jane and John welcomed many of their friends’ children to spend portions of their summers at Wendover, and these visitors became cherished friends in their own rights. In the later years, having her grandchildren gather together and enjoy the farm provided huge joy, and all nine grandchildren consider time on the farm with Granna some of their most cherished memories.
She is survived her husband of 58 years, John Hanna, Jr, three children: Lili Hanna Morss and her husband Steve of Concord, Mass.: Kate Hanna Morgan of Princeton; Josh Merchant Hanna and his wife Kim of Waukesha, Wisc.; and nine grandchildren: Alexandra, Abigail and Caroline Morss: Sarah, Jasper, Lucy and Annie Morgan: and Will and Genevieve Hanna; and a brother Louis Merchant and his wife Joyce of Wayzata, Minn.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
K. Philip Dresdner
K. Philip Dresdner (Phil) died Saturday October 7, 2017. Phil was born April 13, 1927 in Trenton, New Jersey where he attended public schools until attending The Lawrenceville School where he graduated in the class of 1945. Phil served in the U.S. Merchant Marines, USNR, for a year and then received a BA from Yale in 1950. He married Katherine V. Winans (Kay) in June 1950. Phil was recruited while at Yale to join the CIA and assigned to an executive position in Radio Free Europe’s Munich Station in Germany. After leaving Munich Station, Phil continued to work for the CIA in New York at Radio Free Europe and then worked in a number of brokerage firms on Wall Street before opening his own company, Dresdner and Co. in Montclair, N.J. in 1971. While living in Montclair he served as trustee, treasurer, and president of the Montclair Art Museum, as president of the Yale Club of Montclair, and began serving in 1975 as a trustee of the Lawrenceville School.
Phil and Kay moved to Lawrence Township in 1980. His love for and devotion to The Lawrenceville School is reflected in his 20 years of active service on the Board and continued participation as a trustee emeritus. He served as board vice president, as executive committee chairman and treasurer of finance, managing the school’s endowment and saving the school millions of dollars in management fees. He also served as chair of the property committee and received Lawrenceville School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Phil had a major impact on the life of the school by actively supporting the Lawrenceville School Board’s move from an all-male school to coeducation which was finally approved in 1985. He supported gender equality in athletics with the creation in 1988 of the Dresdner Cup given annually in recognition of the highest athletic achievement of a girl’s Crescent House to correspond to the Foresman Cup awarded annually to a boy’s Circle House for highest athletic achievement at the school. Phil was also instrumental in hiring the school’s first female headmaster in 2003.
Phil had a lifelong love of music. As a child he studied the violin with Josef Chudnofsky, first chair violinist of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and played the violin in the Lawrenceville School orchestra and music groups at Yale. He supported the Lawrenceville School music department, donated his Heberlein violin to the school for students to play, and funded the building of Dresdner Hall, a new recital hall in the Clark Music Center.
Phil also served on the Board of the Princeton University Art Museum and was president and treasurer of the Morven Museum Board. In 1990 Phil singlehandedly saved the Morven property from becoming a New Jersey State Police Barracks.
Phil served on many Boards including the Montclair Savings Bank, the Montclair Mountainside Hospital, the Montclair YMCA, First Jersey National Bank and Trust, NJ Seeds, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Phil was a member and chairman of District Committee No. 9 of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), and a trustee of the Albert Penick Foundation, where he grew an initial investment of $300,000 to more than $5 million over time, making gifts annually over 40 years.
Fishing was another lifelong passion. Phil began fishing as a 4-year-old child on Marshall’s Creek and on the Delaware River in Shawnee, Pennsylvania. He later learned to fly fish and spent 30 years devoting himself to the art of fly casting, travelling to fish in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Maine, and the Bahamas. He travelled for many years to Patagonia fishing the Alumine, Malleo, and Corcovado Rivers and also to fish the Traful, Caleufu, Collon Cura, and the Chimehuin Rivers south of Buenos Aires. In July 1995 Phil had a spectacular record day fishing on the Restigouche River in New Brunswick, Canada where he caught and released a 48 pound salmon and then a 60 pound salmon. Catching these two salmon were an “incredible angling feat” as reported in the Bangor Daily News on July 15, 1995.
Phil is survived by his four children, Katherine V. Dresdner of Hopewell, N.J.; Karl P. Dresdner of Newtown, Pa.; Robert P. Dresdner of Vienna, Va.; and William W. Dresdner of Monticello, Va.; and also survived by his four grandchildren, Kate, Teddy, Maura, and Brendan. He is predeceased by his wife Katherine Winans Dresdner; his parents, Karl George Dresdner and Miriam Virginia Neumann; and his sister Hedl D. Roulette.
The burial will be at the Lawrenceville Cemetery on Route 206 near Carter Road, Lawrence, N.J. at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 14 to which Phil’s friends are welcome, followed by a Memorial Service at 11 a.m. at The Edith Memorial Chapel at The Lawrenceville School. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to SAVE-A Friend to Homeless Animals, 1010 Route 601, Skillman, NJ 08558. Arrangements are through the Mather Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton, N.J.
Felice V. “Felix” Pirone, 87, of Princeton died Monday, October 2, 2017 at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Pettoranello Di Molise, Italy, he was a lifelong Princeton resident. He was the owner-operator of F. Pirone and Son Paving Inc., member of St. Paul’s Church, the Italian-American Sportsman Club, and Romaeterna. Felix was an avid New York Mets fan, bowler, and card player. He loved his farm and most of all enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.
Son of the late Umberto and Filomena C. (Nini) Pirone, husband of the late Elizabeth Marie Pirone, he is survived by two daughters Felisa Scannella, Pamela Pirone–Verdi; a son Umberto Pirone; a brother Anthony J. Pirone; a sister and brother-in-law Christine and Teodoro Tamasi; grandchildren Laurence Michael, Larisa and Steven Scannella, Francis Verdi, F. Nicholas, Julia, Salvatore, Joseph, Thomas Pirone; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at St. Paul’s Church 216 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will follow in the Princeton Cemetery.
Friends were asked to call on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.
Memorial contributions may be made to: American Lung Association.