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Re: Re: Jens-Peer Kuska passed away

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  • Subject: [mg101518] Re: [mg101461] Re: [mg101427] Jens-Peer Kuska passed away
  • From: "Frank Murray" <fjmurray at>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 01:56:21 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <> <> <>

Our salute goes out to him, our condolences to his family and friends.  
He will be missed.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrzej Kozlowski" <akoz at>
To: <mathgroup at>
Sent: Wednesday, 08 July 2009 07:08
Subject: [mg101518] [mg101461] Re: [mg101427] Jens-Peer Kuska passed away

> This is indeed a very tragic and sad news. The MathGroup will never be 
> the same again.
> I would like to add just a few words from myself.
> I have known Jens-Peer through the MathGroup since I started to 
> participate in in in 1998. At that time I was a newbie and he one of 
> the most active and most knowledgeable contributors. There seemed to 
> be no area of computer science, physics or other science Jens-Peer did 
> not know about. He was a brilliant C programmer, and expert in many 
> other computer languages but it was clear (and he often stated it) 
> that he loved Mathematica above all others. This made him sometimes 
> impatient with people who criticized without understanding it, but 
> even when he seemed to be annoyed he always gave practical and useful  
> advice.
> Around the 2001 I started teaching geometry of polyhedra at the 
> university (in Japan) where I worked as a professor. I wanted to use a 
> 3D viewer but found RealTime3D - (and Open GL based hack used by 
> Mathematica before version 6 as a stop-gap measure) unsatisfactory. 
> However, I remembered that I had seen a MathGroup post by Russel Towle 
> in which he praised MathGL 3d - an Open GL and MathLink based program  
> as being ideal for the purpose I had in mind.
> Unfortunately MathGl 3d at that time did not run on Macs. I wrote to 
> Jens-Peer asking him about a Mac version and he replied that he had no 
> access to Macs but WRI was going to send him an i-Mac and he would let 
> me know when a Mac version becomes available.
> So, while waiting for that, I run MathGl3d slowly under emulation on 
> my Mac and while my students used much faster Windows version. It 
> would take a long time to describe how impressive this program was at  
> that time. It's enough to say that many of its capabilities are still  
> unmatched by Mathematica in version 7. In particular, what I found 
> particularly useful was the superb function MVContourPlot3D, which is  
> still much faster and more accurate than ContourPlot3D in Mathematica  
> 7.  In any many of my students became quite expert at using this 
> program and one even detailed wrote a (Japanese language) manual as 
> part of her graduation thesis.
> I met Jens-Peer personally just once, during the IMS at Imperial 
> College London in 2003. He gave a fascinating talk on medical image 
> processing and after that I had a chance to exchange a few words with  
> him. The memory of his wit and intelligence remains with me to this 
> day. I reminded him about this promised Mac version of Math GL 3d, and 
> he told me that he was having more problems than he had expected due 
> to bugs in Apple's implementation of  Open GL.
> Two more years past and assumed that Jens-Peer had forgotten all about 
> this. But then in 2005 unexpectedly I got an e-mail from him with a 
> link from which I was able to download a working version for Mac OS X. 
> I was very pleased and immediately started using it in my lectures (by 
> that time at a different university and on a different topic). Soon 
> after that an announcement from WRI appeared in the MathGroup to the 
> effect that MathGL3d was now a commercial (and not very cheap) package 
> sold by Wolfram Research. In effect I got a fairy expensive present, 
> which I would never had asked for if I had known about it.
> In fact this was very typical of Jens-Peer - he helped people in such  
> a unpretentious and undemanding way that one often did not appreciate  
> that there was a cost in it for him.
> Jens-Peer was, by the way, a research professor at the University of 
> Lepipzig, one of the oldest universities in Europe located in the city 
> of Johann Sebastian Bach. His manner was, however, so direct and 
> unpretentious that probably only a few of the many MathGroup users 
> whose questions he answered ever realized it.
> Andrzej Kozlowski
> On 7 Jul 2009, at 18:05, mtrott at wrote:
>> Dear Mathgroup,
>> I am sorry to inform you that Jens-Peer Kuska passed away last week.
>> He was 45 years old.
>> I have known Jens-Peer since the early 80s when we both studied 
>> physics
>> at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Our departments were on opposite
>> sides of the first floor hallway.
>> After Germany's reunification and the availability of more computers
>> and software, Jens-Peer's favorite program soon become Mathematica.
>> And he evolved to be a true expert of it.
>> His broad and detailed mathematics and physics knowledge allowed
>> Jens to cover new areas in computer graphics with his OpenGL viewer
>> and in his work on medical image processing.
>> Most of the Mathgroup readers know Jens-Peer from his short, to the 
>> point,
>> helpful, stimulating contributions to Mathgroup, where he 
>> contributed so
>> many times for more than 10 years.
>> And the German-speaking Mathematica user knew him additionally from 
>> his
>> many contribution to the German Mathematica user group:
>> Jens-Peer was a brilliant Mathematica (and in general) programmer who
>> was able to code complicated algorithms efficiently and elegantly. His
>> reservoir of ideas what to implement, calculate, investigate, or
>> visualize was virtually unlimited.
>> For the ones that were fortunate to know him in person and discuss
>> Mathematica, mathematics, physics, or image-processing issues with 
>> him,
>> know the value of his deep, critical, and constructive opinions and
>> contributions.
>> He loved to discuss so many different topics, ranging from 
>> Fullform[]s of
>> Mathematica graphics expressions to shape-characteristics of averaged
>> Wigner  functions of quantum systems and the use of partial 
>> differential
>> equations to image processing tasks.
>> We all will miss such discussions with him in the future.
>> Jens-Peer will be missed by the Mathematica community, his university
>> department
>> (,
>> his former students, his friends, and of course, his family.
>> Michael Trott
>> Wolfram Research

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