Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Life in Pictures

Thank you, Karen, for putting together this wonderful album! A couple of notes from Karen:
Feel free to forward this link to our pictures of Andrei. Because of the varying sizes, the best way to watch them is by clicking the "Slideshow" button from the first screen.

I uploaded these at the full quality I had. Anyone can download the best version of any picture by opening the picture, clicking on "Options" at the bottom, and selecting "Download Full Size".

Monday, November 13, 2017

Leroy P. Steele Prize

It has been announced that the 2018 Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research in Discrete Mathematics/Logic will be awarded to Sergey Fomin and Andrei Zelevinsky (posthumously) for their paper "Cluster algebras I: Foundations," published in 2002 in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday, August 22, 2016

Advances memorial issue

Advances in Mathematics published an issue dedicated to Andrei. The opening article is an obituary written by some of Andrei's friends and colleagues.

As usual, we thank everyone who helped us make the text available to people lacking subscription.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Andrei Zelevinsky Research Instructor Fund

Northeastern University has established a prestigious post-doctoral position named in Andrei's memory. Please spread the word.
Help us celebrate the legacy of a truly remarkable teacher, mentor, and mathematician. Your gift to the Andrei Zelevinsky Research Instructor Fund honors his contributions to the mathematical community, while investing in great mathematicians of the future.

Winner of the Silver Medal of the International Mathematical Olympiad at age 16, Professor Andrei Zelevinsky went on to become a world-famous mathematician, a gifted teacher, and a dedicated mentor. He was especially renowned for the Bernstein-Zelevinsky classification of representations of p-adic groups, as well as for the discovery, with Sergey Fomin, of cluster algebras.

During his 22-year career at Northeastern, Professor Zelevinsky’s impressive body of work resulted in an invitation to lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (Berlin, 1998), the Humboldt Research Award (2004), election as a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (2013), and a University Distinguished Professor award from Northeastern University (2013). His numerous contributions to mathematics included not only ground-breaking research but also a dedicated enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring future generations of students. He led weekend classes for high school students, taught undergraduates at all levels, and organized advanced seminars for graduate students. Through his passionate commitment to scholarship and learning he fostered the intellectual and personal growth of his students.

The Mathematics Department at Northeastern University is proud to announce the creation of a prestigious post-doctoral position: the Andrei Zelevinsky Research Instructor. This position, named in Professor Zelevinsky’s memory, will serve to honor his tremendous contributions to the field of mathematics, by supporting promising young mathematics researchers at the start of their careers.

With the generosity of a lead donor, members of the mathematics department, alumni and colleagues we have raised over $60,000 toward the goal of $100,000. In addition we have a pledge for $20,000 contingent upon raising at least $80,000 by December 2015.

We invite you to support the Andrei Zelevinsky Research Instructor Fund to recognize his extraordinary legacy.

If you have questions about this fund, please contact Lisa Pedulla, Development Officer, College of Science, at l.pedulla(at)neu(dot)edu or (617) 373-8392, or go to http://give.northeastern.edu/fund/166 to contribute online.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Boris Feigin's article

Boris Feigin has written a remarkable article about his lifelong friendship with Andrei. Thank you, Borya, for the beautiful tribute to Andrei's memory!

As it happens, the latest MMJ issue is dedicated to Borya's 60th birthday. Our (belated) congratulations! Many happy returns!

And thank you again, Sergei Yakovenko, for making the articles available to non-subscribers as well!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Юноше, обдумывающему житьё

Tanya Khovanova posted a list of problems that Andrei had considered important for undergraduate students to think through and solve by themselves.

Problem 1. Let G be a finite group of order |G|. Let H be its subgroup, such that the index (G:H) is the smallest prime factor of |G|. Prove that H is a normal subgroup.

Problem 2. Consider a procedure: given a polygon in a plane, the next polygon is formed by the centers of its edges. Prove that if we start with a polygon and perform the procedure infinitely many times, the resulting polygon will converge to a point. In another variation, instead of using the centers of edges to construct the next polygon, use the centers of gravity of k consecutive vertices.

Problem 3. Find numbers an such that 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + … + 1/k = ln k + γ + a1/k + … + an/kn + …

Problem 4. For x1 not equal to zero, let xk = sin xk-1. Find the asymptotic behavior of xk.

Problem 5. Calculate the integral from 0 to 1 of x−x over x with the precision 0.001.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Andrei would have been 62 today.

Photo courtesy of Katya Z.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Transformation Groups Obituary

Andrei's obituary was published in the March 2014 issue of Transformation Groups (vol. 19, no. 1, 2014, pp. 289-302.)  Subscription is required to get the full text :(  A sizable fragment is available for viewing, though (click on ">> Look Inside".)

Update: Thank you, Sergei Yakovenko, for making the full text available!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Andrei would have been 61 today.

Photo courtesy of Katya Z.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Calculus Lectures at People's University

Andrei Reznikov, one of the students at the Jewish People's University, posted the notes Andrei Zelevinsky had prepared for the calculus course he taught there in 1980-82.

The notes were xeroxed (a criminal offence according to the USSR legal standards) by Boris Kanevsky, who was later arrested and served a lengthy prison term on trumped-up charges.

Thank you, Andrei Reznikov, for saving the notes and making them available online!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor

On April 18th 2013, at the university’s Aca­d­emic Honors Con­vo­ca­tion, Andrei was posthumously awarded the highest honor Northeastern can bestow upon a faculty member.

The photo (courtesy of Brooks Canaday/Northeastern University) shows Galya and Katya as well as Andrei's colleagues Profs. Valerio Toledano Laredo and Jonathan Weitsman talking with the Northeastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ACRT Conference

The conference "Algebra, Combinatorics and Representation Theory": in memory of Andrei Zelevinsky (1953-2013) will be held on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston on April 24-28th.

The talks of speakers who agree will be streamed live here. Please spread the word about the talks' availability.

Update: The videos of the talks are now available for download.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part in filling Andrei's Wikipedia page with actual content!

Thank you, B.Y. and L.K. for your help and advice!

Thank you, Sergey Fomin, for collecting and organizing the information about Andrei's mathematical career!

And - first and foremost - thank you, Sasha Givental, for doing such an amazing job creating a real Andrei's page!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rabbi Hausman's Eulogy

Avraham ben Zev

In the Book of Samuel, there is an interesting conversation between King David and a very wise woman. King David had exiled his son and the woman had been sent by Joab, the king's general, to plead with him to forgive his son. In the course of the wise woman's plea, she refers to the brevity of life, saying, "Ki mot namut u'kha-mayim hanigarim artza asher lo yai-asfu," "We must all die, we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up." (2 Sam 14:14)

"Life," the wise woman says, "passes quickly; it is like water spilled upon the thirsty ground. It sinks into the earth and soon is no more." This metaphor for life is troubling. For if life is like water absorbed by the parched earth, does this mean that all we are and all we have done and stood for, is gone forever, absorbed by the sands of time?

I do not believe so. For implied in the words of the wise woman of Teko is a consoling truth. Even if our lives are like water absorbed by the parched earth, it does not necessarily follow that our lives are therefore futile. Is water spilled upon the ground lost? Is it not true that it is precisely this submerged water that makes life possible? It is the rain and the dew that falls on the ground and ceases to be that makes for life. Without it, we would perish.

And this is the way it is with the life of the spirit. Our fathers and the many generations who preceded them, poured out the water of their lives, their dreams, their ideals and their hopes, and they have been absorbed by the hungry earth of life.

You and I are the harvest. They have given us not only our bodies; they have given us our minds, our appreciation of the good and the true, our will to live and to achieve. We have absorbed into our personality, the spilled waters of their lives, just as we, in turn, will be absorbed in the lives of our children and our children's children.

What is true of each of us in our individual lives is even truer of a teacher, whose life reaches out into many lives and helps shape the spirits of several generations. The fresh sweet waters of knowledge that flow from her lips helps awaken the seeds of idealism, of goodness, of devotion to God and Israel and country in the hearts of children and adults alike.

Now, Andrei Zelevinsky’s years have come to an end. His life is like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered again. But, what he has watered with his life has grown and developed and continues as a force in the lives of those whom he has touched. "Utzror bitzror hahayim et nishmato." "May his soul be bound up in the bonds of life eternal and may his memory always be treasured as a blessing."

It was just a few short months ago when we gathered for your mother’s funeral, Galina. We come together again…you, your in-laws Vladen and Natalya, your children Leo and Katya, with broken hearts…yet, thankful for the gifts and sheer brilliance that Andrei brought to this world, his profession and his family whom he taught just as zealously with even greater love, devotion and concern.

I have only heard stories regarding the difficulties endured by Jews in the Soviet Union regarding education and professional advancement. He excelled at the Moscow “Second School,” graduate Moscow State University and was even more concerned about those who followed who suffered blatant discrimination, he and mathematics colleagues organized the Jewish People's University for mostly Jewish students denied similar educational opportunities. What an act of courage and defiance not only against state-sponsored anti-Semitism but also against totalitarianism.

Andrei reveled in the success of others and his students with the pride of a distinguished educator. It is as if he understood the Rabbinic aphorism “I learned much from my teachers, but most from my students” underscoring his selflessness and dedication, how he touched the minds and hearts to many people the world over. It really does denote what an exceptional person he was to so many.

Galina, Andrei was your partner. Dmitry, he was a very loving brother. Leo and Katya, he gave from his heart. Vladlen and Natalya, he was a devoted son. He was a compassionate grandfather who wanted his family’s future here. For many years, his life involved teaching, and being a teacher. I know how it can become your entire life.

Andrei Zelevinsky lived well and made a mark on too many lives to count. Indeed, his life was like water covering a field, giving life to so many whose lives he touched. May he now rest in peace as his memory will be a blessing in time to come. Amen.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Andrei ז"ל

Andrei Zelevinsky was a Mathematics Professor at Northeastern University in Boston. Andrei was a truly distinguished mathematician.  Among many other things, he co-developed a new innovative concept (quite a rare event) that had a tremendous scientific effect and generated a lot of new research in many fields by a large group of followers.

Just recently, Andrei was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He was awarded the title of The University Distinguished Professor - one of the university’s highest honors - and the ceremony bestowing upon him this honor posthumously will take place on April 18, 2013. Later this month, a conference in honor of Andrei's 60th birthday will be held on the campus of his university.

In addition to his outstanding research, Andrei was a great teacher.  All his life he enjoyed teaching kids: his younger brother, then his children, and recently started teaching his grandchildren. It is a huge loss for them that they won't be able to get more of Andrei's lessons.  Not only a beloved professor at Northeastern, Andrei spent a lot of his free time giving lectures at the math circle for gifted high school kids.

Andrei was uniquely qualified to work with gifted students. To succeed in deeply anti-Semitic Russia of that time, a Jewish kid had to be exceptionally talented - and Andrei was all that and then some. His mathematical talent became apparent at an early age and Andrei's achievements speak for themselves. He was a top student at the famous Moscow "Second School" (the school for the brightest kids at the time), he became a participant and one of the winners of the International Math Olympiad (the toughest problem-solving contest among the school kids from all over the world), and then made it to the top ranks of his chosen profession.

Andrei was fortunate to be given much and he was always generous in giving back to people around him. When a group of courageous mathematicians decided to try to fight the state-sponsored anti-Semitism (Jewish kids were blatantly discriminated against and were (almost) never accepted at the top colleges, including Moscow University) and organize the "Jewish People's University" for (mostly) Jewish kids who were rejected by the official system, Andrei was among the first and most active lecturers. It must be pointed out that this activity was exceptionally dangerous: some of the people involved were arrested and served lengthy prison terms on trumped-up charges, and at least one person was believed to be killed by the KGB. Part 3 of this book contains several people's recollections of what it was like, including Andrei's.

Many of the students Andrei taught at this Independent University - and other places, including the high school attended by both his own children - became distinguished mathematicians in their own right, which is surely a mark of a great teacher.

Andrei was a great family man and a great friend to many people all over the world.  When people got the shocking news of his passing, many of the responses were virtually identical: "Andrei was one of the best persons I have ever met."

He will be (and already is) missed by very many. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Russian blogs



Katya's eulogy
Vladimir Retakh (in Russian)
Andre Reznikov
Троицкий Вариант
Мемориальная Страница
Gil Kalai's "Combinatorics and more"
Doron Zeilberger's Opinions
Alexandre Borovik's "Mathematics under the Microscope"
Northeastern obituary (see comment below)

Please point us to things we have missed.
Пожалуйста, добавляйте пропущенные нами ссылки.

Memorial Page

Please leave your tributes to Andrel Zelevinsky ז"ל in the comments below. Feel free to use whatever language you are most comfortable with.

We apologize in advance, but from now on comments will be moderated. We will do our best to shorten the time gap between the posting of a comment and its actual publishing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Andrei Zelevinsky 1/30/1953 - 4/10/2013

Andrei Vladlenovich Zelevinsky died early this morning (April 10) after a hard-fought battle with liver disease. 

He loved to communicate with all of you via this blog and LiveJournal.

Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

Funeral services for Andrei will be held on Friday, April 12th at 11 AM EDT at the Stanetsky Memorial Chapel in Canton, MA. If you wish to attend the service, please plan on arriving by 10:30 AM.

After the service there will be a gathering of family and friends to celebrate Andrei's life. Please email andrei(at)neu(dot)edu for details.

-- Andrei's family


Photo (C) Robert V. Moody