Professor Edmond Ernest Granirer (1935-2020)

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Notices nécrologiques
Octobre 2020 TOC icon
Notices nécrologiques
Octobre 2020 (tome 52, no. 5)

It is with great sadness that we announce that our colleague and friend, Prof. Edmond (Ed) Granirer, emeritus, passed away peacefully at home on Aug 31, 2020.

Born in Romania in 1935, Ed emigrated to Israel, where he obtained his PhD at the Hebrew University in 1962 with Prof. Harry Kesten, on the topic of Amenable Semigroups with a Finite Dimensional Set of Invariant Means. Prof. Granirer held positions at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and then Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, before moving to Vancouver for a position in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Mathematics in 1965. He became a Full Professor in 1970, taught and carried out research, and supervised students until retirement in 1997.

Prof Granirer’s research on Banach and Fourier Algebras has been highly cited, with papers in Trans AMS, Proc AMS, and elsewhere. Ed continued to publish regularly after retirement, and, most recently (June 2020), he submitted a paper for publication titled: Geometric Properties of some Banach Algebras related to the Fourier algebra on Locally Compact Groups.

According to UBC emeritus professor, John Fournier, Ed Granirer’s influence continues in the Annual Canadian Abstract Harmonic Analysis Symposium, where many participants are mathematical descendants of Ed through his former student, Prof. Tony Lau (University of Alberta). At a proposed BIRS workshop (20w2235) in 2020, topics were strongly related to Ed Granirer’s interests. At a conference in honour of Ed’s retirement, a speaker said that Ed had « planted a mathematical garden ». The harvest continues in these symposia.

In 2009, Ed Granirer was the Special Guest at the International Conference on Harmonic Analysis at The National Sun Yat-Sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Eddy was deeply committed to helping others. In addition to nurturing and mentoring the careers of two generations of mathematicians, he volunteered for over a decade at the Vancouver Crisis Centre, answering telephone calls from people in distress, including those who were suicidal. He was an inspiration to his son Dan, who joined as the youngest volunteer for the teenage phone-lines, and for his older son, David, who, after volunteering, became a trainer for volunteers.

His friends know Eddy as both brilliant and humble, as a kind and gentle person, with a sense of humour, humility, and graciousness. 

Ed Granirer is survived by his wife Pnina, his sons David and Dan, granddaughters Maya and Samantha,  grandson Jonathan, and David’s wife Beatrice. His many friends and colleagues at the UBC Department of Mathematics will miss him greatly.

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