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.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ioan Stefanovici

I had the pleasure of having Avner as my professor for two
courses (in second and third year) in my undergraduate
career. I will admit that for the first of these, I did not
always see eye to eye with him. What I came to realize
however (once I got to third year) was that the reason for
that was because I didn't really understand him [yet].

I think the moment I really "got" Avner and his unique wit
and sense of humor was when, in the middle of explaining a
fundamental concept in the course, he matter-of-factly asked
me to come up to the board and "pretend I was a
polynomial-time verifier"; and suddenly (after we all
stopped laughing) everyone in the class understood exactly
what he was talking about. It became even more apparent when
a couple of questions about an assignment in his office
hours turned into an hour-long discussion about ideas in CS
and in his field of work, and I realized more so how
knowledgeable and passionate Avner was about his work. His
continued enthusiasm and eagerness to share all that with
his students were the reason people enjoyed his course so
much, and were part of the reason I took subsequent courses
in his area of study as well. Running into him and
exchanging a few words outside his office in Sanford Fleming
and on the way to the coffee shop was always a pleasure that
I will miss.

I am still shocked by his untimely departure; and I offer my
heartfelt condolences to his family, his friends and
colleagues, and to his students. He will be missed.

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