Rudy Horne In Memoriam
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing this week of Rudy Horne, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Mathematics at UNC from 2002 until 2005. Rudy was a person with enormous spirit and he cheered us everyday he was in the Mathematics Department at Carolina.
Horne grew up in the south side of Chicago. His father worked at Sherwin-Williams, and Rudy graduated from Crete-Monee High School. He completed a double degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Oklahoma in 1991, and joined the University of Colorado Boulder for his postgraduate studies. Rudy earned a master’s degree in physics in 1994 and in mathematics in 1996. He completed his doctorate, Collision Induced Timing Jitter and Four-Wave Mixing in Wavelength Division Multiplexing Soliton Systems, in 2001, supervised by Mark J. Ablowitz. He was the first African American to graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Applied Mathematics.
Rudy was most recently an Associate Professor at Morehouse College, teaching and inspiring undergraduates there to pursue athematics. His research was in nonlinear optics and he was known for uncovering effects in PT symmetric systems as well as his earlier work on four-wave mixing.
In 2016, Rudy worked on the production of the movie “Hidden Figures” as a mathematics consultant. The movie centers on three African-American women who played key roles in the US space program. Rudy’s role was to ensure the credibility of the mathematical ideas discussed and written on the blackboards during the movie. He was scheduled to deliver a public lecture at UNC in October about his experience participating in the creation of the movie, but had to cancel due to ill-health.