Vladimir Zakalyukin Jan03


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Vladimir Zakalyukin

Vladimir Zakalyukin

Vladimir Zakalyukin

At the weekend I heard that Vladimir Zakalyukin had died suddenly in Moscow on 30 December. He was well-known amongst the Singularity Theory community and was a student of Arnold. An expert on symplectic geometry, he was one of the first, if not the first, to classify Lagrangian and Legendrian singularities in depth. He also published work in various areas such as motion planning and symmetry sets. He was research active to the end with a PhD student just finishing a few months ago and was to be an organizer for the Bill Bruce and Terry Wall conference in June.

I first met him when he was visiting Warwick University in the early nineties just after the fall of communism. I think he was the first Russian I ever met. More recently I’d often see him as he had an unusual academic position in that he was able to spend spend six months of the year in Liverpool and six in Moscow.

Aside from his mathematics I will remember him for his sense of humour (always difficult to communicate in a second language). At one conference dinner he related to us an hilarious story of how he went hunting and ended up being the hunted. He’ll be missed by many.

[The above photo was taken by Vera Timofeeva. I attempted to contact her for permission to use it but was unable to find any contact details. If anyone knows them, can they let me know? Thanks. UPDATE: Thanks to Joel Haddley for giving me the details. FURTHER UPDATE: Vera has informed me that Ugo Boscain took the picture. My thanks to him for allowing me to use it.]

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