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Richard Lewis Hall (1940-2024): Maths and Stats professor, colleague, and friend to many people

May 16, 2024

Dr. Richard Hall

Richard Lewis Hall

(August 9, 1940 – April 17, 2024)

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Hall, Professor Emeritus, on April 17, 2024 at the age of 83.

Richard received his PhD in mathematical physics at King’s College, London. He came to Canada in 1968 and after an appointment at Queen’s University, he joined Concordia (then Sir George Williams University) as Associate Professor of Mathematics in 1972. He was promoted to Professor in 1981. He retired in 2017 after serving Concordia University for 45 years.

Richard made major contributions to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics throughout his career. He was an outstanding researcher with more than one hundred publications in some of the best journals in mathematics, mathematical physics and physics. His work ranged from harmonic analysis to quantum mechanics; he had extensive collaborations and supervised a large number of graduate students. He was highly respected and admired by his students, many of whom became successful faculty members in other universities and also remained in the orbit of his collaborations. His knowledge and expertise were so broad that he collaborated with many colleagues over the years both in his home department and the Department of Physics. He also worked closely with several mathematical physicists at other universities. 

Besides being an excellent researcher, teacher, and mentor, Richard had a great sense of humour, British style. He was witty and charming, the epitome of a gentleman. He also played the piano at the level of a concert pianist. 

“I have known Richard for all my career at Concordia and we had neighbouring offices," says Marco Bertola, Interim Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. "He was a great colleague and researcher, and active in all manners of service to the department. He was also an accomplished pianist (in his office he kept a portrait of Beethoven, which actually bore a certain resemblance to Richard himself!)." 

"We all knew Richard as a kind and decent gentleman," shares Department of Mathematics and Statistics professor Ronald Stern.  "But over the past few years, I also became aware of the extraordinary courage that this man possessed, in the face of a terrible degenerative disease. I remember walking with him to the gym on Peel Street a few times a week, and watching, as undeterred, he fought his symptoms to get through his exercises. Confronted with his mortality, he was dignified through it all, right to the end. I will miss him."

Richard was a dedicated and inspiring professor, colleague, and friend to many people. He will be greatly missed.  

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