Experience Workshop is mourning for Prof. Reza Sarhangi (1952-2016)

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Prof. Reza Sarhangi at the opening celebration of Bridges Pécs 2010

Our friend and colleague, president of Bridges Organization, the world largest math-art community, Reza Sarhangi has passed away. We shall always remember him and keep his spirit alive.

Video record of Reza Sarhangi Memorial Event at Bridges Finland 2016

Eulogy for Reza Sarhagni by Dr. Saeed Ghahramani Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Western New England University

On the history of Bridges Organization and on Reza Sarhangi:


60 thoughts on “Experience Workshop is mourning for Prof. Reza Sarhangi (1952-2016)

  • I met Reza in 1989, I believe, when I started the graduate program at Wichita State and Reza was a doctoral candidate. He impressed me so much from the first encounter–kind, humble, generous, and brimming with enthusiasm and light. A brilliant mind and a loving spirit. I grieve his loss. My sympathy to anyone who was fortunate enough to know him.

  • Writing my JMA Editorial and thinking how we all miss Reza, his inspiration, and support. I am also working on getting a special JMA issue devoted to Reza’s life and work. He will always be with us in our spirits.

  • I am very sorry about Reza Sarhangi passed away and I am sorry I didn’t know until now. I am very sad that I can see him anymore because I was expecting him in the future at Bridges conference in the world. Sejin and I still remember him at 2014 Bridges in Korea. We met several times and he visited Sejin’s Origami Exhibition and encouraged him. We went to visit Math Museum and traditional market in Seoul. He was humble and kind and help Sejin to summit Art Exhibition too. I hope he can see us in the heaven. And I hope Bridges keep going on with his spirit.

  • Dr. Reza Sarhanghi was my favorite math professor.

    He was so humble that when I found out he was the founder of Bridges I was surprised.

    He shared his vision, concerning mathematics education, to his students.

    It is my hope that I can, as a math teacher, fulfill that vision.

  • With sorrow, I was informed on the loss of Reza Sarhangi. I first met Reza in the 2003 Bridges Conference at Granada, Spain and had the opportunity to interact with him on several occasions in later years. I am going to remember him as a positive thinking, hard working and inspiring person, who played an important role for the great success of the Bridges Conferences.

    My deepest condolences to his family.

    Nikolaos G. Nicolis
    Professor of Physics

  • به نام خدا
    اینجانب علی طوسی مهندس معمار و فارغ التحصیل دانشکده هنرهای زیبای دانشگاه تهران هستم. همسر من خانم مهندس مهناز حکمی که ایشان نیز معمار و فارغ التحصیل دانشکده هنرهای زیبای دانشگاه تهران می باشد، سالهاست در زمینه هندسه معماری اسلامی مشغول به تحقیق و تدریس بوده است. محصول این تحقیق و پژوهش با عنوان “منطق ریاضی و نظم حاکم بر قوسها، طاقها و گنبدهای ایرانی” عبارت است از:
    – چفدها و کاربست آنها درآثار معماری دوران اسلامی
    – بررسی تاریخی شکل چفدها و قدمت آنها همچنین رابطه میان سرزمین و شکل چفد
    – وجود نظمی پنهان در تمامی چفدها و امکان دستیابی به تعریفی متفاوت برای چفدها
    – یافتن دلیل شکل گیری چفدها از پاره های بیضی یا دایره
    – امکان جای دادن چفدها به شکلی سیال و تعریف همگی آنها در چند طیف محدود
    – طراحی نرم افزارهایی برای ترسیم چفدها به صورت علمی تنها با تغییر چند متغیر از طریق کد نمودن ویژگی هندسی آنها و یافتن پارامترهایی که به واسطه آنها چفدها قابل تعریف هستند.
    – به دست آوردن معادله تغییرات چفدهای شناخته شده و مشتق آنها
    – دستیابی به تکنیک های خاص برای ساختن انیمیشن درباره راز ترسیم بعضی از چفدها و انیمیشنهایی برای درک و مقایسه بعضی چفدها، با استفاده از زبان های برنامه نویسی.
    – ساختن انیمیشن هایی درباره تغییر تدریجی چفدهای شناخته شده.
    با توجه به مطالعات و تحقیقات انجام شده، جهت ارائه و طرح آن در سطح مجامع علمی، و تکمیل آن درخواست راهنمایی دارم.

  • It was a joy to collaborate with Reza on several different math-art programs for the public over the last few years. I will miss his warmth, energy, and vitality! The programs — and the world — will not be the same without him. — Kirsten Bohl, Project Lead, National Math Festival, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

  • My deepest condolences to Reza’s family, and also to the wider family of mathematicians and artists that Reza so wonderfully encouraged and oversaw. I always felt completely welcomed by Reza, and every year looked forward and was happy to talk with him at the two conferences Bridges and the Joint Meetings at which I would see him each year. This is such a loss. I feel honored to have known Reza.

  • Tribute to Reza

    I am very saddened to learn that Reza had passed away. He was a gifted mathematician and a very kind man. I first met Reza in 1999 at the BRIDGES Conference in Winfield, Kansas.
    He was generous and helpful with his ideas. The conferences he continued to organise were for me an intellectual feast. As an artist I found myself in a new group that inspired my creative work of combining mosaic tessellation patterns and hyperbolic geometry in my sculptures as well as in my paintings.

    I was honored to have known Reza and to have been a part of the wonderful BRIDGES conferences he organised.

    It is a great loss for me that he passed away and that I will no longer be able to talk with him. His kindness as a person, and generosity of sharing ideas will always be remembered.

    Irene Rousseau
    MFA, Ph.D.

  • Reza was our guest (Department of Architecture, Roma Tre University) during a week in spring 2011. He led two hands-on laboratories, to eighty students each. One with Zometool, a problem solving approach to platonic solids. The second workshop was on his beloved persian mosaics, with coloured paper. In both activities the common denominator was modularity. He showed us how a well planned modularity can make the number of participants to work in favour of the outcome of the workshop. Reza was important to us. Since then hands on workshops have become an important part of our communication and teaching methods. He was personable and generous. We will miss him and his continuous advice.

  • Dear Reza,
    We will miss your generous spirit that brought us all together.
    We will miss your infectious laughter and your love of life.
    We will miss your genius for organization.
    We will miss your acts of kindness and support.
    We will miss your passion for mathematical art.
    We will miss you.
    Sarah Glaz

  • This is very sad and shocking news. I too remember very clearly the day I spent with Reza at Towson and his enthusiasm for Bridges. His warmth and encouragement will be missed. It is amazing, reading all these posts, the quiet, kind influence he had on the community. He truly made a positive difference. May his family be comforted.

  • When Reza saw me viewing a Joint Math Meeting art exhibit, he came over and introduced himself. His sincere warmth and enthusiasm were captivating and made me an active participant in the Bridges organization. It has been an important part of my life ever since. His openness permeated the organization, which deliberately did not limit how the bridges were to be made. Rather it welcomed anyone working to make bridges between math and art. This made the conferences full of vitality and gave support to those who formerly felt isolated. It is a great legacy he has left and I miss him deeply.

  • What a shock, what a loss. Reza has always worked hard to make the annual Bridges conference an all-inclusive family event, but also a serious event with great art and great math. And with great success, I should add. I was looking forward to meet him again in Finland this summer. My warmest condolences to those he left behind. May his spirit live on in all of us.

  • It is with great sadness that we in Ciencias y Artes Patagonia and in the Magic Penny Trust have just learned of this great loss.

    We never met Reza but sensed through our commincations with Bridges and reading his works what a fine and caring person he was.

    We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends and to the Bridges Organization which clearly through very much Reza´s efforts has brought so much joy to so many.

  • My condolences to Reza’s family. Reza is the most important person in the promotion of science and the arts at the turn of this century. By arranging and promoting the Bridges Conferences, his influence will continue to play an important role in this interdisciplinary area far into the future. Thank you Reza!

  • This is such sad news. Reza was always so welcoming and helpful when I attended Bridges Conferences as a representative of the American Mathematical Society, and he was always a joy to see at the annual Mathematical Art Exhibition at JMMs. As others have commented, his enthusiasm was infectious and he did a great job helping to bridge math and the arts, mathematicians and artists.

  • One of the most brilliant, yet humble people I ever met in my life.
    He always had an answer for everything, but only if you asked.
    A very funny man who was always ready to help others without expecting anything in return.
    A real buddy with whom I shared some of my most memorable and happiest days.
    World is not the same without you (but, funny I still feel you are around).
    Rest in peace my friend, you deserve it after all that hard work. We’ll meet again!

  • How sad I am to hear about Reza’s departure! Our paths crossed from 2000 to 2015 where I was his colleague and then the chair of the Mathematics Department at Towson. Reza was genuine in, and passionate about, every thing he said and did. Get him to talk about the connections of mathematics and art or a project that one of his students is doing and the energy level in the room multiplies. The heart that cared about so many people and never failed anyone has finally failed him. We are all the poorer for Reza’s early demise. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mehri, and his wonderful children.

  • I met Reza at a workshop at the Banff International Research Station (for mathematics) — his enthusiasm and playfulness was infectious. I remember him pushing large round tables together so that we could create tile designs with masking tape. It was this willingness to play with mathematics and celebrate the results that gave the annual Bridges conferences their distinctive atmosphere. He will be greatly missed.

  • I am shocked and saddened by the news deeply. I always thought he would recover from the illness. He was such a wonderful colleague to work with. His enthusiasm and great smiles will never be forgotten. Reza, may you rest in peace!

  • When Reza came for his interview I had the opportunity to show him around campus. After he took the job it was always nice to see him; he was so pleasant and polite. I know that he was an excellent teacher and scholar and an enthusiastic promoter of mathematics. I considered him to be one of my best colleagues. In fact, he is just one of the few people I stayed in touch with since retirement. I am very sad about this news but I know that many people will remember him for all the good things he did in his life. My sympathies to his family!

  • Will miss Reza’s enthusiasm, welcoming smile, and warm heart. May the community he nurtured from humble Kansas beginnings continue to thrive in his memory.

  • My deepest condolences to the family and all Bridges participants. Reza was one of the most kind, inspired and enthusiastic person I ever met. Knowledge that the upcoming Bridges will be without him makes a deep hole in the entire event. Reza will be remembered.

  • I met Reza at my first Bridges about six years ago. He was kind, encouraging, and helpful throughout our interactions during these several years, before, during and after conferences. While I do not know him as well as many in the Bridges community do, I really appreciated him and the work he did in building this community.

  • This sad news weighs heavy in my heart. I was privileged to have been department chair when Reza came from Kansas for an interview at Towson. This was an amazing man. He was an artist, a poet, a writer, a musician, a teacher, and a mathematician all rolled into one. His enthusiasm was contagious. Bridges is his incredible legacy along with all that he brought to our department, our students, and Towson University. He showed us the joy of art in mathematics and mathematics in art. The art shows at mathematics meetings inspired so much excitement and pleasure. To Mehri and family, I send my deepest sympathy. May warm and loving memories of Reza bring comfort to us all.

  • This is very shocking and sad news. I wish peace for his family. It was my great pleasure to have collaborations with him. He boosted my knowledge in Art and Mathematics by his brilliant advice. I never forget his kind personality. I missed to meet him finally.

  • I didn’t have nearly enough time to get to know Reza, but I had enough to learn that he was kind and generous and a force of nature. I take comfort in the strength of the community he built.

    • Reza introduced himself, when I was enjoying the exhibits at the JMM art show. He was so welcoming and kind. I am sorry I didn’t get to know him more.

  • Reza had a huge, warm, and welcoming heart. It is ironic that his physical heart is what let him down. His energy and devotion to building bridges that became Bridges were infectious and seemed boundless. I honestly would have forged no connection to the math-and-art world without Reza’s influence, and I am not the only one who can make that claim. It won’t be the same without him, but we all owe it to him to keep it all going. I offer my deepest sympathies and gratitude to his family and close friends.

  • I met Reza only recently but I know well how he enriched the world of mathematics. His warm smile welcomed many. My sympathy and condolences to his family.

  • I never knew the tough road he’s walked having heart touble in him. His heartfelt welcome and passionate energy
    for math-art warmed up the conference every time he showed up. We will miss you so much and wish your soul
    to rest in peace.

  • We met Reza at the 2nd BRIDGES in Kansas. I remember fondly those early days of BRIDGES and its blossoming community raised by Reza. He made a difference to so many people. He brought us out of the darkness and let us show art and math side by side.

    Reza shared his energy and vision in so many ways. In addition to BRIDGES with a proceedings, we now have a journal. And a huge presence at Joint Math Meetings. Reza is and will always be an inspiration to us.

  • This is a shock and great pain in my heart. I first met Reza years ago when he kindly took in our friend Kamran, and I was happy to be able to exchange some words in Farsi. His energy, inspiration and creative brilliance have added so much to the world of math and art, and his kindness and generosity were unequalled. I last saw him at Bridges/2015 in Baltimore and so looked forward to seeing him again in Finland 2016. This is a devastating loss.

  • I am so saddened. Reza made the difference with his way of seeing the connections between math and the arts. Great man, great loss.

  • I am richer for having met Reza, and will remember him for his kindness, wisdom, and superhuman energy. He was true force of nature, a gentleman, and scholar. My sincere condolences go out to family and friends.

  • This is a terrible news! We have been friends with Reza and his family for about a quarter of a century, since he was a PhD student. We were also privileged to attend the first Bridges conferences.
    Reza was a wonderful person and memory of him will stay with us.
    May he dwell in the Lord’s house forever!
    Mila and Peter

  • In 2002 George Hart convinced me to attend the Bridges conferences, and since 2003 in Granada, they are a tremendous part of my life, a real Family. Hugging dear Reza (and many other true Friends indeed !), almost each year (soon the 12th) was an intense joy. We all are gonna miss him, a great and humble inspiring Man with the heart, intellect and devotion at the right place, a tireless and always smiling activist for a better world through all forms of Art and Math.

  • My heartfelt sympathy goes to his spouse and his family. He was an exceptional leader who knew how to listen and follow his unruly army to lead them to success. He was a mathematician and artist who shared with us the incomparable beauty of his culture. He was a friend and a very special individual. His warmth and generosity will be sorely missed.

  • I remember the day I met him. It was my first time to Bridges and Reza welcomed me as if I was part of that family. His contribution to make math and art is exemplary.

  • Reza was such a special person and I have been dreading this day for a long time – he was the loving glue that held it all together especially in those early days. I remember the first Bridges with all the excitement swirling around like a magic potion made of intellectuals cloistered in a small campus — out in the middle of nowhere Kansas — seemingly exiled from the world and now existing in a sea of wheat. It was as if monks from all over the world came to a monastery to share the sacred dharma surrounding the aesthetics of mathematics and the arts. Reza was the nucleus and everyone was buzzing around him like electrons popping in and out of atomic rings, emitting luminous ideas — we were feeding our souls — thus the magic of Bridges was born.

    I will truly miss this wonderful soul.
    Love to you Reza, rest in peace.

  • When you walked in the door for the first time at a Bridges conference Reza would greet you as if you were his best friend. He always made you feel welcome. His enthusiasm for mathematical art was boundless and contagious. There will never be another like him.

  • Shocked to hear this. A great man and teacher. He inspired me to get involved with things that I never would have without his encouragement and the influence of the Bridges family. He touched many many lives and careers with his positive can do attitude and genuine personal concern for people. He had a love, curiosity and fascination with all aspects of the world of mathematics and art. He founded the Bridges Conference as a platform to facilitate the sharing of information, ideas and inspiration across many disciplines. It is, and will be, a reminder to all who knew him that we are all part of a connected family, no matter what our individual disciplines or backgrounds might be. My condolences to his family.

  • I never really got to know Reza, probably since the only Bridges I went to were the ones in Maryland, BUT I know that what he did for math and for the arts was wonderful and very important, for me and for the world. He will certainly be remembered, and I hope that what he accomplished will remain with all of us.

  • Reza was a wonderful combination of warmth and competence. He always was welcoming and helpful when I attended Bridges Conferences. No question was too small. We will all miss him. His Bridges and teaching leagacy will live on.

  • I am very much saddened to learn that Reza has passed away. His spirit will stay with mathart community forever. My sincere condolences to all his loved ones.

  • I was shocked at the news. May God console the family as well as the extended Bridges family on this loss. Reza literally brought me to Bridges. I taught at Towson and in 2005 he mentioned he chaired a math art conference. He invited me to submit. I protested that my last art work was done 10 years ago. But he persisted. I submitted and the referees said that my work was old and out of date and rejected it. But Reza had me resubmit it as a 2 page paper. I will always remember his persistence and enthusiasm. Because of him, since 2005 I was at 8 Bridges conferences. Whenever something went wrong and I got discouraged he had a way of fixing it. I have had many enjoyable experiences at Bridges and met many warm enthusiastic people like him.

  • I only met him this past year when I went with my mother to both Bridges and Mathfest. As someone with a math degree and an artist, I thought I would enjoy Bridges more. I remember, and my mom tells everyone, that every night I thanked her for bringing me to Bridges. Bridges was more fun, and more amazing than I ever could have imagined, and I can’t wait until I can go back. Without Reza, that never would have happened. It is a loss to the entire world, as the goal of bringing math, science, and art together would open up worlds unimagined before to people who never even thought those ideas were possible. None of that would be possible without the work of Reza.
    He can’t be thanked enough.

  • Passing away of my dear friend Reza is a great loss for all who knew him and those familiar with his great work at Bridges and other conferences. His short life was very productive and his contributions and their impacts will be long lasting. His love for his work was exemplary. We will miss him extremely! Wishing peace for his family and Friends.

  • This is terribly sad news. My wife and I were privileged to see Reza in Towson in February. He was always gracious, always generous with his time and attention. He will be missed by all.

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