GW mourns after math professor passes away

by Theresa Crapanzano

Members of the GW community will come together to remember the life of Professor Rodica Simion, who died earlier this month at age 45, in a memorial service Jan. 30.

Colleagues of Simion, who taught all different levels of mathematics, said they would remember her for her gracious and friendly spirit and her willingness to go out of her way to help people.

She was a brilliant mathematician, and she worked very hard, saidHugo Junghenn, chairman of the Math Department. No task was beneath her or beyond her. She was a real potent force in the department.

Simion, who received her bachelor's degree from the University of Bucharest in her native country, Romania, and her master's degree and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, was regarded for her mathematical prowess by intellectuals worldwide, colleagues said.

In the early 1970s, she was ranked among the best 15 competitors in the annual National Mathematics Olympiads in Romania and has had numerous works published. She joined the GW faculty in August of 1988. The GW Math Department has been contacted by mathematicians who were touched by her work and life, said Michael Moses, deputy chairman of the Math Department.

She was the cornerstone of the department - she just touched everyaspect, Moses said. We're struggling to replace a loss that I don't think we'll be able to replace.

Simion, who was born in 1955, leaves behind family in both Romania and New York. The family has not released any details regarding the cause of death.

The non-denominational memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Hillel. The Math Department has created a memorial fund in her honor that will be used to help students at GW. Those interested in making a donation should contact the Math Department.

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