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April 8, 2004



Siegfried Thomeier

Siegfried Thomeier
Siegfried Thomeier

Siegfried Thomeier passed away peacefully and courageously in hospital on Friday March 12, 2004. He was born in 1937, to a German family in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, and trained as a mathematician at the University of Frankfurt, receiving his doctoral degree (Dr. Phil. Nat.) in algebraic topology in 1965. Dr. Thomeier was assistant/associate professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark from 1965 to 1968 and joined MUN as a full professor in 1968. He held that position until his retirement in 1996.

His mathematical research was on Whitehead products, an important topic in the investigation of one of the deepest and most challenging problems of mathematics, i.e. the computation of the homotopy groups of the spheres. He was the main player in setting up the first PhD program in what was then the Department of Mathematics, i.e. in the area of algebraic topology in the early 1970s, and taught many graduate courses in that area. He was editor of several conference proceedings on some of these topics, and spoke on them at numerous conferences and universities in Europe and North America.

Dr. Thomeier had an early interest in computers, owning his own Tandy in the 1970s at a time when, for many mathematicians, computers were something of a curiosity. In the 1980s he developed an interest in Coding Theory, and in particular error correcting codes, and gave talks on these topics at several conferences and universities. He was also involved with the history of mathematics.
His teaching was skilled and competent. His clear and precise teaching style translated into clear and precise lecture notes. Several of his former students have commented that both his professionalism and keen sense of humour stood out in the classroom. He took a strong interest in our senior undergraduate Pure Mathematics courses, and over 25 honours students wrote their dissertations under his supervision.

He is survived by his wife Mechthild, son Wolfgang, daughter Karin and family in Germany.

Gertrude Crosbie
Gertrude Crosbie, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial in 1997, passed away March 27, 2004. She and her husband, Alexander Harris Crosbie, formed the Cerebral Palsy Parents Association in St. John's. Seven years later, in 1968, when the group learned that children with disabilities were having trouble obtaining adequate schooling, it opened a classroom in the Mundy Pond Boys Club for children with physical and learning disabilities. This classroom became the Virginia Waters School, and its founding organization evolved into the Cerebral Palsy Association of Newfoundland. In 1971 the Crosbies were named Citizens of the Year. An avid volunteer at the Maritime History Archives, Mrs. Crosbie has compiled information on births, deaths and marriages in the province which can be used by researchers interested in genealogy and aspects of Newfoundland history. In 1993 she was named to the Order of Canada.

Thomas Corbin Noel
T. C. Noel, retired professor of Physics and former assistant vice-president (administration/physical operations) at Memorial, passed peacefully away in the presence of his family at the Palliative Care Unit of the Leonard A. Miller Centre on Sunday, March 28, after a long illness. He was 85. Predeceased by his son Tommy. Leaving to mourn his wife Ella; brothers: Nathaniel, St. Philips and Alex (Geraldine), Quebec; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Professor Noel, a native Newfoundlander, joined the faculty of MUN in 1951 as acting head of the Department of Physics. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Memorial University Scholarship Fund, Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7.


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Next issue: April 29, 2004

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