By Shelby Brown–
Mathematics Professor Prasanna “Ron” Sahoo died June 18 while at a symposium in China. Sahoo just celebrated 30 years with U of L, according to Dean Kimberly Kempf-Leonard.
“(H)e was a prolific researcher, a great teacher and mentor and a good friend,” Kempf-Leonard said in an email. “He will be missed greatly!”
Kempf-Leonard added Sahoo was excited to attend the “prestigious” conference with his family.
Sahoo has received international honors from India, Poland and Canada, and helped author five books on mathematics and biology. His research has been cited in dozens of others.
Sahoo’s colleagues remember a dear friend and a professor who went above the call of duty.
Professor Thomas Riedel had known Sahoo since graduate school. Sahoo mentored Riedel and other junior faculty members when they began at U of L.
“We have been friends ever since,” Riedel said in an email. “Dr. Sahoo was always in the office… you come in early, late, weekends, holidays and he was there working. He was easily the most productive faculty member with 5 books and almost 200 research papers to his name.”
Professor Robert Powers treasures advice from his mentor helping him hone his research. Having known Sahoo for 29 years, Powers recalls dedication to his work.
“It is fair to say that Ron loved doing mathematics. His work ethic and his love of mathematics was an inspiration to me and to those who knew him. Ron’s list of academic accomplishments is astounding,” Powers said.
Graduate Teaching Assistant Surina Borjigin was shocked and saddened the professor’s passing. While echoing her colleague’s sentiments about her advisor’s enthusiasm for mathematics, Borjigin shared a different memory.
“Dr. Sahoo was also a kind, warm-hearted friend,” Borjigin said in an email, “As a person who had experience studying abroad, he understood how hard life and study could be for an international student. During my first Christmas break in the U.S.A., he invited me to his house to celebrate the holiday with his family. On my wedding, he walked me down the aisle, since my parents couldn’t come to U.S.A.”
Photo courtesy of University of Louisville.