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Norberto Kerzman

Norberto Kerzman

1943 - 6/5/2019

Revered and beloved mathematics Professor Norberto Kerzman died peacefully on June 5, 2019 at the Hillcrest Convalescent Center in Durham, North Carolina, supported by many of his closest friends from the community.

Norberto was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1943. He obtained his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Buenos Aires, and came to the USA to pursue graduate studies. He obtained his PhD in mathematics from New York University in 1970. He taught initially at Princeton and MIT and joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979 where he became a full professor in 1982. He retired in 2006. During his tenure, he was also a visiting professor in Argentina, France (Universities of Grenoble, Paris IV & VI and Marseille-Aix), and Sweden (Mittag-Leffler Institute) and for shorter periods at universities in Germany, Italy, Mexico and Venezuela. His research, funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on several complex variables, harmonic analysis/ Fourier series, partial differential equations, and conformal mapping which led to many scientific publications. During his career, he also oversaw the doctoral theses of Ian Graham at Princeton University (1973), Steven Bell and Harold Boas at MIT (1980), and David Monn at UNC-Chapel Hill (1985), all of whom went on to prestigious careers.

Norberto was a member of the American Mathematical Society and was Departmental Undergraduate Adviser at UNC for many years. He excelled at facilitating his undergraduate students' understanding of complex mathematical concepts, and obtained the MIT Graduate Teaching Award in 1976 and the UNC Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2000. His total dedication to the success of his students developed into long term friendships with many of them.

In addition to his mathematical knowledge, Norberto had a remarkable ability with languages and spoke fluent Spanish (his mother tongue), English, Italian, French, German, and Greek, which he learned during his fifties to better enjoy the many summers he spent on various Greek islands. He was also an active member of the local Alliance Franҁaise for 25 years and the Spanish conversation group at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill. Altogether, he was a true Renaissance man who loved art, music, philosophy, science, nature and a good discussion.