This site is for family, friends, and colleagues of Avner Magen to post their thoughts and memories of him. Avner died in a climbing accident on May 29, 2010, in Alaska.

Avner was a beloved and devoted father, husband and son; a terrifically warm, funny, and energetic person; a brilliant and creative researcher; and a wonderful friend and colleague.

Please share your stories, memories and words of support by sending an email to You may also post comments to any entry. Visit this Photo Site for a photo memorial of Avner and his family and friends. Instructions for adding pictures appear next to the album.

More details appear on the Avner Magen Memorial page.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Allison Doerr

I met Avner when my husband Iannis was a postdoc at the University of Toronto. Whenever I would work from Iannis's office, Avner would often stop by to chat about their research. There was always a lot of laughter and references to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Avner was always friendly and smiling; it was clear that he was very well liked by all of the graduate students and postdocs in the computer science department.

One memorable day, Avner and Iannis were working on a proof on the whiteboard. The proof was so complex that they ran out of Greek letters to use as variables, so Avner, with a glint in his eye, decided they needed to invent a new symbol which he called "xona". Much laughter ensued; Avner was so pleased and amused by his invention. Several months later he recounted the story in an impromptu speech at our wedding; remembering it even now still makes me laugh.

My best wishes to Avner's family who have suffered an unthinkable loss; I hope you find the strength to heal. We will miss Avner very much.

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