In memory of Adrien Douady

The second of November 2006 Adrien Douady passed away and the mathematical community lost a great man. He contributed much in an obvious way to mathematics and in particular the field of holomorphic dynamics where he obtained many important results. He also contributed in a more subtle way by planting ideas in the people around him, and helping them develop. He led people to cooperate and share ideas and by his example and presence knit the whole holomorphic dynamics community together.

Adrien Douady was much more than a mathematician. He had many talents. The thing that most stand out to me when I think about Adrien is the joy of living that he radiated so strongly that it left nobody around him unaffected. Where ever he went there was color, song and laughter.

He is missed, and will be so for a long time to come.

What happened?

The second of November 2006 Adrien went with three students to the rocky coastline of Eterel situated near Cannes, France. The sea was rough with big waves crashing onto the rocks. Adrien decided to jump in. It soon became apperant to the on-lookers that he was in trouble and one of them, Roland, dove in after him. With great effort Roland managed to get him to a calmer place and, with the help of the two other students, to shore. They administered CPR until they were relieved by medical emergency people. However, neither the students nor the profesionals was able to revive him.


11. November 2006. Tan Lei sent this notice about the funeral.

9. November 2006. Dan Sørensen, Pia Willumsen and Carsten Petersen worked together with Adrien Douady in the beginning of the nineties to make this little book of some French Poems and Danish translations. Also people have sent pictures with Adrien.

8. November 2006. Dierk Schleicher and Marcel Oliver has arranged that a guest book is set up where people can share their feelings and reactions.

2. November 2006.

I dag blæser en kold og hård vind
der river blade fra træerne, varme fra kroppen
og får flagene på halv stang
til at smælde

I dag blæser en kold og hård vind
og en kold og hård nyhed
fra kyst til kyst
og øre til øre

I dag bristede diger i Danmark og Holland

vandet flyder i gaderne
og folk går, med bøjet hoved, i gummistøvler
men hans par står tomme

I dag blæser en kold og hård vind
der river farverne fra træerne, himlen og husene
Verden er grå, uvirkelig
for hvem var mere farverig end han?

I dag blæser en kold og hård vind
og det er tungt, tungt
for hvem kan løfte hans arv
ham som løftede os alle?

I dag døde Adrien Douady
og hele verden sørger.

Christian Henriksen, 2 November 2006