It is with profound sadness that we report the death of our colleague Professor Syed Twareque Ali on the 24th of January 2016 whilst on an academic visit to Malaysia. He is survived by his wife Fauzia Begum, their son Syed Furrokh-Nabeel Ali (Samira Karim), and grandson Syed Aydin Karim Ali.
Twareque completed his doctoral studies in mathematical physics at the University of Rochester in1973. After periods of research and teaching in ICTP Trieste, University of Toronto, UPEI, and ITP Clausthal, Germany, he joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Concordia University in 1981. He was promoted to full professor here in 1990.
Twareque pursued research in many areas of mathematics, mostly in analysis, functional analysis, and quantum mechanics. He published his work with numerous scientists around the world in over 120 research articles and in a number of books. He was always studying and preparing lectures, now wavelets, now differential geometry, now group theory. His presentations were structured, lucid, interesting, deep, and, before the fashion of electronic displays, by means of perfectly clear handwriting on the blackboard.
He was not inclined to profess an overt teaching philosophy but an observer might infer that it was ‘empowerment through mathematical understanding’. He was himself impressively erudite with an eclectic taste that included history, philosophy and literature, and the mastery of at least five European languages in addition to Bengali and Hindi, and some Farsi and Arabic.
He was extremely generous and engendered enormous affection in his students and colleagues. He had an amusing story or anecdote for almost every occasion – often related to other mathematicians he knew from his extensive travels – and had a repertoire of funny jokes that naturally prompted his distinctive laughter.
His inspiring presence and cheerful demeanor will be sorely missed by us all.