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 9, 2010

Jeremy Cho

For me, one of Avner's greatest strengths as an adviser was
his sharp attention to detail and desire to understand every
step of an argument that was presented to him. At first I
found this to be intimidating and often spent late nights
before meetings refining my proofs and even attempting to
predict the clarifying questions he would ask. As a result,
I gradually began crystalizing my thoughts in the same way
that Avner did - with an intuitive geometric picture instead
of the rambling narrative I was so accustomed to. The fact
that he treated my ideas with a level of respect and
interest normally reserved for seasoned researchers also
provided a vital boost to my self-confidence at a time when
I was unsure about my place in graduate school.

There are many Avner moments that will be forever etched in
my memory - our multi-part conversations on the merits of
the phrase "it is what it is", the day I walked into his
combinatorial optimization final with an arsenal of Red
Bulls and the good-natured ribbing I received in the many
months to follow, and the endless amusement he derived from
my dependency on goose-down jackets on days when he would be
wearing shorts. In one of our last conversations, I shared
with him my dilemna of what I should do following my
Master's degree and the response I got was typical Avner -
honest, thoughtful, encouraging, and of course peppered with
his irreplaceable sense of humor. For all these reasons and
more, I will never forget him.

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