July 20th, 2005

classic beard

Erik Rauch

Erik Rauch died last week.

His greatest work was published in Nature* last year. Put overly succinctly, it expressed the importance of the individual - in mathematical terms. Think about that.

Ok, so it was really about "conservation of biodiversity in a population". It also wasn't a theory in a vacuum, or pure abstract math; the projections it made were demonstrated to be consistent with real-world data on world-wide Pseudomonas bacteria populations. At the same time, he presented it approachably enough to be the subject of a BBC interview*.

He was 31 years old.

* Follow http://www.swiss.ai.mit.edu/~rauch/papers.html#diversity to http://www-swiss.ai.mit.edu/%7Erauch/nature_distribution.pdf for the version in Nature.

* Follow http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/~rauch/diversity/distribution1.html to http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/%7Erauch/press/bbc/BBC_Today_Interview.mp3 for the BBC interview.