The Björn Jawerth Memorial Site

Dignity Memorial Collection

The thoughts and memories below were collected from those contributions about Björn made on the Dignity Memorial website.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

When I heard the news I felt that a whole chapter of my life has been wiped out.

I arrived at Washington University as a graduate student and I walked into a wonderland inhabited by fairies and wizards.

The first memory I have of Bjorn is of him stepping out of Cupples II into the quadrangle holding his little daughter in his arms. It was a summer evening and students and faculty were gathering in the quadrangle to listen to a concert.

A year or so later it happened that I started to talk with Bjorn about a certain problem. We ended up talking about translations and dilations and about phi and psi. So long ago that I did not know, then, that we were talking about wavelets.

One day Guido called Bjorn and me to his office and he said that Bjorn was going to be my advisor. I am forever grateful to Guido for that. Bjorn was the best advisor in the world for me during the best of all possible times. He is one of the main people in my life. He was Bjorn talked with a clarity and transparency that I had never encountered before or after. When I talked with him I could see farther and my ideas acquired definition. It was invigorating to be around him. He seemed to draw on invisible sources of energy that became temporarily available to you too.generous and enthusiastic. He gave of his time, his insight, his advice.

Bjorn was never too tired or too busy to listen. I used to tell him about my idea of the day during the first coffee break, Swedish style, at 11 o’clock, in Holmes Lounge. We gathered, a few graduate students or young faculty, around one of the large round wooden tables. I never solved my problem during these talks but rather I replaced it with a new one. I used to talk with Bjorn about the new problem during the second coffee break at 3 o’clock. I also learned during one of these coffee breaks that Bjorn means bear in Swedish.

Bjorn told me once to go ahead and celebrate a theorem right away lest there be nothing to celebrate later. It was good advice given the volatility of my proofs. I wonder now whether he was talking from personal experience although that is hard to believe since his mathematical constructions seemed to me perfect from the first draft.

Bjorn was generous not only as a mathematician but also as a person. He helped us often, Dan and me, with the needs and concerns we had as young people in a new country.

During these last weeks almost anything I do reminds me of Bjorn. Whether I use LaTex, or Mathematica or whether I simply type three question marks in the middle of a file to remember that something is missing. Bjorn is alive in my memory. He is still the youthful man, brilliant and focused, that he used to be when I saw him for the last time in South Carolina.

I owe it to Bjorn that for a few magical years I had a beautiful mathematical life. I miss Bjorn.
~
Anca Deliu

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dr. Jawerth was my professor, my boss, and a good friend of mine. He had endless enthusiasm on studies and works. It had deep impact to me. He was also a very kindness man. I have great respect for him.
~
Toku Chang,
Covina, California

Monday, September 23, 2013

Björn was one great human; I miss him much!
~
Vilhelm Adolfsson,
Gothenburg, Sweden

Sunday, September 22, 2013

If anything, Bjorn was tough. Nonetheless, the day before his first surgery, I handed Bjorn a copy of the Tao Teh Ching. Perhaps I was hoping that the words would help ease his way through the bitter battle that I imagined lie ahead.
But, as the days passed, you could tell that his illness was a minor distraction from his dreams – more like a mosquito buzzing a picnic. Given all that befell him, you had to admire the sheer force of will that kept his dreams on track.
The suddenness of his departure, took some of us who talked to him daily by surprise. He never let on that he was slipping. Even in his parting moments, he issued directions and began designing his next project.
And then the Universe was still –
~
Nathan Hall,
Apex, North Carolina

Friday, September 20, 2013

This was sad news. We just talked about Björn this weekend when we meet with some old Summus friends. I will always be grateful towards Björn and his generosity when he help me and Lotta come over from Sweden to work in his company.
~
Jonas Helin,
Gothenburg

Thursday, September 19, 2013

He was a great individual and a pleasure to work with. I will miss you.
~
Saniv Sharma,
Brentwood, California

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to his loved ones. I am thankful to have been a part of the Summus team and seeing first hand the “vision beyond time” Bjorn offered to all of us.
~
Kathy Watkins,
Cary, North Carolina

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bjorn was truly a unique person, that was a great inspiration to me in many ways, both personally and professionally. I am so sorry to hear about Bjorn’s passing, but am grateful that I got the opportunity to be his friend. You and your family are in my thoughts.
~
Henrik Storm,
Molndal, Sweden

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It is sad to hear him passing away. I remember him as a relentless explorer and a man ahead of his time. Now the world may get a chance to catch up.
~
Jiangying Zhou,
Durham, North Carolina

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So sorry to hear. 61 is way too young to die. My father lived to be the same age. Bjorn was a great inspiration to me as well. It saddens me to see him go.
~
Michael Hubrig,
Mountain View, California

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I’m so very sad and sorry to hear about Bjorn’s passing. I will always treasure the creative times we had together working on various projects, or just simply having coffee and chatting about life in general. He always inspired me to give my best in my efforts and challenge myself to be better. Bjorn was one of a kind, and is deeply missed.
~
Kevin Darbro,
Apex, North Carolina

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Came to you to study wavelets but ended up being more than anything else inspired; inspired by your wit, curious character and positive attitude. I will always Bear you in mind. Thank you Björn.
~
Martin Lindberg,
Bjärred, Sweden

Thursday, September 12, 2013

May he rest in peace after a rich, full life.
~
Mladen Victor Wickerhauser,
Saint Louis, Missouri

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Best friends since our first day at school. Trees will be planted in your name near Lake Victoria, Africa. May those trees give shelter and shade to many lives and may your memory stimulate their growth, as you did help so many people grow in your life time, Björn. Thank you for that – Roland
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