The first time I met Avner was right after my first
conference talk. After all the nervousness and stage
fright, wondering if anyone had understood anything I'd
explained, or even cared about the result, suddenly a
professor from U of T whose work I was already familiar with
walked right up to me, introduced himself, and complimented
me on the talk and the result. We then sat down to have an
extended conversation about the work I'd presented and
related work. I don't remember exactly what we discussed,
but I remember vividly the thrill of having my work taken
seriously by someone I respect.
On that day, as in all the times I've met and talked with
Avner since then, it was not only the mere fact of being
approached by a more senior researcher that made an
impression; it was Avner's way of interacting with people,
which was always without pretension or condescension, a
meeting of equals, of friends, and which seemed to come to
him quite naturally.
To Ayelet, and the kids, I remember fondly the dinners at
your home on my visits to Toronto, and how you made even a
fleeting guest feel like part of the family. My sincere
condolences, and know that my thoughts are also with you.
Avner, you will be missed.