Electron. J. Differential Equ., Special Issue 01, 2021.

Electronic Journal of Differential Equations, Special Issue 01, 2021.

Special Issue in honor of Alan C. Lazer.

Alan C. Lazer (1938-2020)
The aim of this issue is to honor our dear and beloved friend Alan Lazer who passed away on October 6, 2020. His students and mathematical followers submitted manuscripts related to his research. These manuscripts were refereed and later accepted for publication in the Electronic Journal of Differential Equations (EJDE), in which Alan Lazer was an editor since its inception, in 1993.

Professor Alan C. Lazer, was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, on May 3rd, 1938. (That town also has mathematician John Nash as one of its natives.) While he bravely conducted a long battle with Parkinson's disease, the people who knew him always expected to have Alan for one more year.

For generations to come, Nonlinear Analysts will have a mandatory stop at Alan's paper with Edward Landesman, "Nonlinear Perturbations of Linear Elliptic Boundary Value Problems at Resonance", which further beckons us to read Alan's immense collection of ideas in his publications. Oscillation theory, jumping nonlinearities, reaction-diffusion systems, equations in mathematical biology, critical point theory, and systems of ordinary and partial differential equations are just a few of the subareas that he thought about. All of them now include his seminal ideas.

Professor Lazer studied mathematics up to his Ph.D. degree at Carnegie-Mellon University and served on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Miami. While Alan belonged in the class of mathematicians that could spend their summer months in the most acclaimed institutions, he preferred to visit Latin America for his interest in the language, the culture, the people, and his desire to benefit others with his talent and encyclopedic mathematical knowledge. Mathematics in Colombia, Chile, and Venezuela particularly benefitted from his visits. Some said that in Colombia Partial Differential Equations were either Impanian or Lazerian, to mean that most people practicing this discipline had been educated either at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA, Brazil) or from ideas going back to Professor Lazer. He was an institution.

Not only was Professor Lazer generous with this knowledge, he was also always ready to help support good causes with his personal resources. On two occasions he was invited by a Mexican research institute to deliver invited talks and paid handsome honoraria. Eventually it was learned that he donated his first honorarium to the fund dedicated to the liberation of Uruguayan mathematician José Luis Massera, at the time jailed by the dictatorship of his country for political reasons. His second honorarium he donated to the family of a mathematician whom he had never met but who had died prematurely.

Despite the damage caused by his illness, Professor Lazer enjoyed life to his last days. Now and then Alan and his long-time caregiver, Ms. Jaqui Pula, would travel, taking cruises in the Caribbean, making long trips by land, or visiting foreign countries.

His birthday parties of recent years are memorable. These parties included his high school pals Maurice Griffith and Ronald Bone who still lived in Alan’s same hometown of Bluefield. Since they depended on very limited budgets, Alan always paid expenses to have them attend the celebration in Miami. Sadly Maurice, Alan, and Ronald died in that order in the span of one year.

Professor Lazer lives through his mathematical legacy and example of human kindness.

Special Issue Editors

Alfonso Castro
Department of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College
Claremont CA 91711, USA
email: castro@g.hmc.edu

Jorge Cossio
Escuela de Matemáticas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Apartado A&ecute;reo 3840, Medellín, Colombia
email: jcossio@unal.edu.co

Sigifredo Herrón
Escuela de Matemáticas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Apartado Aéreo 3840, Medellín, Colombia
email: sherron@unal.edu.co

Carlos A. Vélez
Escuela de Matemáticas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Apartado Aéreo 3840, Medellín, Colombia
email: cauvelez@unal.edu.co

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