Professor Alexandru Lupas (1942-2007)

AMS obituary

Foundation Editor, Journal of Inequalities in Pure and Applied Mathematics

Obituaries Index

This year, on August 14, the mathematical community suffered a big loss: the decease of Professor Alexandru Lupas, a distinguished Romanian mathematician, one of the most important of his generation. Professor at the Department of Mathematics of the University "Lucian Blaga" in Sibiu, Romania, he was a specialist in Approximation Theory, Classical Analysis, Inequalities, Convexity, Numerical Analysis, Special Functions, Finite Operatorial Calculus (Umbral Calculus) and q-Calculus.

His unexpect death, occurring only one year after the death of his wife Luciana Lupas, also a distinguished mathematician at the University "Lucian Blaga" in Sibiu, shocked not only his family, but also his friends, disciples, PhD. students and students. He was an extraordinarily kind man, with a pleasant personality and an optimistic view of the world, life and work. For many, he was a master, an advisor and a friend.

Alexandru Lupas was born on January 5, 1942 in Arad, Romania. He completed his secondary studies at "Moise Nicoara" high-school in Arad, where the well-known Romanian mathematicians Tiberiu Popoviciu, Caius Iacob, Dimitrie D. Stancu and Ivan Singer had studied before him.

In 1964, he graduated (in Mathematical Analysis) from the University "Babes-Bolyai" in Cluj, having as professors, among others, the well-known romanian mathematicians Gh. Calugareanu, D.V. Ionescu, T. Mihailescu, P.T. Mocanu, Gh. Pic, T. Popoviciu, F. Rado, D.D. Stancu.

After graduating, he occupied the position of researcher at the Institute of Numerical Computation of the Romanian Academy in Cluj until 1975. During this period, he obtained, after severe competition, a Humboldt scholarship at the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen. In April 28, 1972, under the guidance of W. Meyer-König, he presented his doctoral dissertation titled (in German) "Die Folge der Betaoperatoren" and obtained the academic title of "Doktor der Naturwissenschaften" (Doctor rerum natura) with the German excellence mark: "mit Auszeichnung bestanden". On his return to Cluj, under the guidance of Tiberiu Popoviciu (and after his death in 1975, under the guidance of Dimitrie D. Stancu) he presented in 1976 a new Romanian thesis titled "Contributions to the Theory of Approximation by Linear Operators". In 1976, he moved to the University in Sibiu, as a lecturer (1976-1980), an associate professor (1980-1990) and a full professor from 1990 until his death. Here, he was the Chair of Applied Mechanics (1982-1985), Rector of the University of Sibiu (1990), Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Sibiu (1990-1992), vice-rector of the Romanian-German University of Sibiu (1998- 1999), head of the Department of Mathematics of "Lucian Blaga" University (1999-2000). The work of Professor Lupas contains over 100 research papers, 6 research monographs and 10 textbooks in mathematics. The majority of his papers were written alone and a small portion were collaborations (among others, with Gh. Cimoca, H. Gonska, V. Gupta, I. Lazarovic, L. Lupas, D.H. Mache, V. Maier, C. Manole, M. Müller, A. Vernescu). His important results in Approximation Theory, Numerical Analysis, Inequalities, Convexity, Special Functions, Umbral Calculus and qq-Calculus have been cited by numerous Romanian and foreigner mathematicians.

He was an editor of J. Ineq. Pure Appl. Math., J. Math. Anal. and Approx. Theory, J. Concr. Appl. Math., Gazeta Matematica, General Mathematics, Octogon, Archimede, reviewer for Mathematical Reviews (from 1968), for Zentralblatt für Mathematik (from 1970), member of the American Mathematical Society, of the Society of Mathematical Sciences in Romania, of the Director Committee of the Romanian District of Alexander von Humboldt Club, and of the RGMIA.

He had 9 Ph.d. students, some of them becoming full or associate professors. Professor Alexandru Lupas presented invited talks at many conferences and universities, among them were the International Centre of Conferences of Oberwolfach (1969), Sofia and Varna (1970), Tagung der Deutsche Mathematische Vereinigung in Stuttgart (1971), Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences of Stockholm (1974), University of Lund (1974) , FernUniversität of Hagen (1990, 1997), Dortmund/Witten (1995, 1998), Gerhard Mercator Universität of Duisburg (1996), Siegen (1996).

He initiated the National Symposium of Inequalities, held in Sibiu (in 1981, 1984, 1987, 1992), also (with his beloved wife Luciana Lupas and Professor Heiner Gonska in Germany) the Romanian-German Seminars (shortly RoGer) in Cluj 1996, Sibiu 1998, Brasov 2000, Sibiu 2002, Cluj/Baisoara 2004. He was an organizer of the International Congress of Inequalities and Applications in Timi¸soara (Romania), 2001 and of the International Conference on Mathematical Inequalities and their Applications, in Melbourne (Australia), 2004.

RoGer will be held in Königswinter (Germany) in October 1-4, 2007, and this seminar will be dedicated to the memory of Luciana and Alexandru Lupas.

Alexandru Lupas was an unforgettable master, adviser and friend. We will miss him always.

Sorin Gal and Andrei Vernescu