The person who influenced me the most, here at UC Davis, Professor Aldo Antonelli, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, 11th October, 2015.
He is a fierce gentleman, kind hearted, witty, and passionate about Logic and Philosophy. He introduced me to the fascinating world of Logic and Mathematics and was always there to help and guide me. I wanted to declare an Individual Major related to Logic. He suggested that I name it "Logic and Scientific Computation" and I remember him saying, "All right Vishal, I will be your adviser, let me know if you need anything and I will be more than happy to provide." He had, not solutions, but advice for any problem, academic or non-academic, I had. If something were worrying me, he would say, "Vishal, don't bang your head on the wall, you know where to find me." I will never be able to forget his witty jokes; soothing smile; reassuring voice; "obviousness" in proofs and everything that was him. I used to spend hours in his office talking about Life, Food, Logic, and Philosophy.
In Fall, last year, when I was taking PHI 113, MetaLogic, with him, I still remember him calling me on a Friday to set up a time to meet and work on proofs. I was 'sitting in' in one his classes last summer, when I got too excited and too picky about a proof he was discussing in class, he coolly said, "Shut up Vishal!" Later, after the class was over, he smiled and said, "I hope I will see you tomorrow in class."
Last Spring, I was discussing with him what I should do for my graduate studies, which Universities and Colleges to look at, he suggested a few names, and then said, "... we can also look at the Ph.D. program here (at UC Davis), and if you are interested, I can recommend you. We can talk..." How can I ever forget those words! I was pleasantly surprised and felt very honored.
Now, when I go over the notes from his lectures, I remember the exact comments he made about them and what he wrote on the board while lecturing. It will take me a long time to come to terms with the fact that he is no more. The very thought of 2296 Social Sciences and Humanities Building without him in it breaks my heart.