In Memoriam: Abraham Sher

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Abraham Sher, a member of the NYU Tandon Math Department for 13 years. He taught calculus, linear algebra and differential equations. Mr. Sher (Abe) was known as a challenging instructor, who called on students at random to keep them engaged and ensure that they understood the material. His unconventional style, sense of humor and broad knowledge of the history of mathematics and its applications entertained and enlightened hundreds of students. Many reported that he was the best math teacher they ever had.

Abe worked as an electrical engineer before becoming a math teacher in the NYC public school system and an adjunct at other colleges in New York City. He could be faulted for always being in “engineering mode,” but so can many of our students. He was always trying to optimize every processes, whether it was how to better teach a topic he had taught for decades, or trying to be number one on the waitlist of the public library for a new thriller by a favorite author, or where to stand on the train platform so the most convenient train doors would open directly in front of him.

His colleagues, students, and friends will miss his pragmatic advice, his wit, his commitment to education, his enthusiasm for his many interests, and most of all for his good heart.