With profound sadness and shock, we are writing to inform you that our colleague and friend, Oded Schramm, died in a tragic hiking accident yesterday, September 1st. Oded was a towering figure, an extraordinary mathematician, widely considered to be the most influential probabilist in the world. His revolutionary work completely transformed our understanding of critical processes in two dimensions, tying probability theory to analysis and topology like never before.
Oded worked at Microsoft Research for the last ten years. He received the Erdo Prize in Mathematics in 1996, the Salem Prize in 2001, the Clay Research Award in 2002, the Poincare Prize in 2003, the Loeve Prize in 2003, the Polya Prize in 2006 and the Ostrowski Prize in 2007. He was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2008. Oded gave many key lectures, including plenary addresses in the 2004 European Congress of Mathematics and the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians, as well as the 2005 Coxeter Lecture Series at the Fields Institute and the 2006 Abel lecture. On the theory group webpage, Oded listed his interests: Percolation, two dimensional random systems, critical systems, SLE, conformal mappings, dynamical random systems, discrete and coarse geometry, mountains.
Oded was a remarkable individual: always calm, humble, generous with his insights and ideas, the best collaborator one could hope for and the person who could always be relied upon. Our hearts are with Oded's family. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
See also http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/oded-schramm/