I am shocked to hear this extremely sad piece of news.
I had the pleasure of knowing Avner since 2006. We became
friends almost immediately as we realized that we shared far
more than an interest in geometric embeddings of
graphs. Over the years I benefited immensely from his deep
understandings of several problems. He was a brilliant
researcher and, more importantly, a gem of a human being.
The last visual I have of him is with his son leaving after
a meal at my parents place in Kanpur in Dec 09, packed in a
tiny auto-rickshaw with huge backpacks, all set to get lost
in the Himalayas in Nepal. I will never forget the content
smile he wore that night. I was hoping to see him soon but,
unfortunately, that was not meant to be.
I will always cherish my interactions; research and
otherwise with him. Sincere and deepest condolences to his
family from my parents and myself. We will miss you.