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Eugene Richard Tomer (1932–2007)

Published onJan 01, 2009
Eugene Richard Tomer (1932–2007)

Dr. Eugene R. Tomer passed away on 2 July 2007 at his home in San Francisco, California. The cause of death was cancer. Tomer was a consulting applied mathematician with a wide range of interests in dynamical astronomy, electromagnetic theory for use in communications, and computational methods of applied mathematics. He was a member of AAS, and the Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics [SIAM]. With K. H. Prendergast, he co-wrote the influential paper "Self-consistent Models of Elliptical Galaxies," published in the Astronomical Journal 75 (1970), 674-679. This paper has been cited over eighty times.

Tomer was born on 13 June 1932. He earned the Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California-Berkeley in 1978 (title of dissertation: On the C*-algebra of the Hermite Operator). In 1996 he and A. F. Peterson wrote "Meeting the Challenges Presented by Computational Electromagnetics," a publication of the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California.

This writer met Eugene at the 1992 Annual SIAM meeting in Los Angeles in connection with the Activity Group on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions, which the writer chaired at the time. Eugene volunteered to edit the Newsletter of the group, which he did from July 1992 to July 1995. Thanks to his skills and efforts, the Newsletter became a carefully edited, professional publication. Eugene not only organized a Problems Column, attracting questions in pure and applied mathematics, but he also designed the logo for the group. He gave much time and effort to this service, in an era when copy had to be physically assembled and mailed to SIAM Headquarters. Eventually he felt he had done what he could for the Activity Group. He told me that he hoped the Group would get seriously involved with applications such as in astronomy, physics, and sciences that use special function solutions of differential equations.

During Tomer's editorship, we communicated mostly by e-mail, our homes being far apart. He was a good friend to the Group and to me, as much as one can be over a separation of thousands of miles. As well, Eugene was an active amateur radio operator, much appreciated by his local amateur radio community, with call sign WI6X. He left behind family, friends, and one son.

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