Mar 29, 2018

Obituary: Joergen Hoffmann-Joergensen 1942–2017

Jørgen Hoffmann-Jørgensen

Jørgen Hoffmann-Jørgensen was born on 3 February 1942 in Aarhus, Denmark. He completed his studies at Aarhus University in 1966, and was subsequently employed in the Department of Mathematics there, until his retirement in 2012. During his career he was a visiting researcher at several universities, including Cornell, Texas A&M, and Scuola Normal Superiore di Pisa.

Jørgen’s scientific work was characterized by profound insight and great originality, and he made several significant contributions, including an important result now known as the Hoffmann-Jørgensen inequality. He is one of the pioneers in high-dimensional probability theory and was very active in this field throughout his career. This theory has been fundamental to the development of modern statistical methods for high-dimensional data — big data. Jørgen wrote the two-volume work Probability with a View Towards Statistics, which provides a solid, mathematically based insight into some of the most important probability theory topics, and he also authored a wide range of scientific articles. From 1988 until his death, Jørgen was co-editor of the Journal of Theoretical Probability.

Jørgen was an excellent and committed communicator of probability theory and its applications, which students and public lecture audiences experienced. Even in retirement, he was frequently present at the Department of Mathematics.

Jørgen Hoffmann-Jørgensen was a highly appreciated colleague and employee. He will be missed by family, friends and colleagues.

[Note: a survey article on Jørgen’s research, written by Michael Marcus, is due to appear in the next volume in the Springer High Dimensional Probability series.]

Written by Lars Madsen, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University

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