Christo Ivanov Christov
(1951 - 2012)
LAFAYETTE - Dr. Christov, the SLEMCO Endowed Professor of Sciences in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, passed away on March 16, 2012. He was a devoted husband, father and teacher. He is survived by his wife Eva of Lafayette, LA, sons Ivan of Princeton, NJ, Anton of Lafayette, LA, and parents Latropini and Ivan of Sofia, Bulgaria. At work, Dr. Christov's legacy includes six UL Lafayette students who received their Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics under his direction, seven Ph.D. students he advised or co-advised around the world, and yet many more whose education he participated in. He authored or co-authored approximately two hundred and fifty articles which appeared in professional journals. His dedication to teaching and research is made clear by the fact that he continued lecturing until a week before his death, and finished his last scientific paper on that very day.
After finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, he pursued a Ph.D. at the renown Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Throughout his career, Dr. Christov held faculty positions at many world-class institutions, including the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, and Stanford University in California, before settling down at the (then) University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1998. In the little spare time he had, Dr. Christov was an avid music enthusiast. When not listening to Beethoven's 7th Symphony, he played violin and viola and, at times, did so in professional symphonic orchestras in Novosibirsk, Russia and Sofia, Bulgaria. He also enjoyed playing acoustic guitar, for which he had composed a rock opera. It is said that an inscription above the door of Plato's school read "Let no one destitute of geometry enter my doors." Dr. Christov enjoyed paraphrasing this as "Let no one destitute of continuum mechanics enter my doors." Indeed, he strove to make sure every student entering his door learned about and mastered this subject so dear to his heart. Dr. Christov's dedication and enthusiasm in all aspects of life and work will be sorely missed. His scientific legacy will be celebrated at the 2012 Lloyd Roeling UL Lafayette Mathematics Conference in November.
Published in The Advertiser on Mar. 25, 2012.