Vera Pless
FUNERAL HOME
Chesed v'Emet, LLC
IL
Vera Stepen Pless died peacefully at home in Oak Park on Monday, just before her 89th birthday. The daughter of immigrants, she was born in Chicago to Dr. Helen Blinder Stepen (dentist) and Lyman Stepen (Jeweler). Dr. Pless was Professor Emerita, Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and was one of the world's top experts in the field of error correcting codes. She wrote over 120 per reviewed journal publications, several books and was a strong supporter of women's rights and other anti-discrimination causes. She will be remembered for a sense of humor uniquely hers, her enthusiasm for theater and music, especially classical and Klezmer, and for her love of life. Dr. Pless is survived by her three children, Naomi, Ben, and Daniel and her four grandchildren, Lilah, Evie, Rebecca and Jesse. Services Friday 11 a.m. West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem Ave., River Forest, 60305. Interment Glen Oak Cemetery. Remembrances may be made to the Family Justice Resource Center, www.famjustice.org. Info: Chesed v'Emet Funeral Home, Rudy Lerner funeral director, 847-577-0856 or www.chesedvemet.com.

Published by Chicago Tribune on Mar. 4, 2020.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Mar
6
Service
11:00a.m.
West Suburban Temple Har Zion
1040 N. Harlem Ave., River Forest, IL
Funeral services provided by:
Chesed v'Emet, LLC
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23 Entries
I met Vera for the first time at an ISIT in San Diego. During my visit at the University of Illinois Chicago she inspired my work on an open problem of self-dual codes of length 56. She was very supportive to me. I saw her for the last time at the conference in Cincinnati in 2006.
Rest in peace, Vera.
Vassil Yorgov
March 9, 2020
Vera's early work on self-dual codes that support 5-designs inspired my interest in
the interactions between codes and combinatorial designs. I met Vera in person for first time at the International Symposium on Information Theory in Ann Arbor in October 1986, where I presented results from our first joint work with Vera on self-dual codes over GF(7), which we completed by communicating remotely via ordinary mail.
We continued our collaboration with Vera during my visit of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991, and this visit became the starting point of my academic career in the United States.
Vera's book "Introduction to the Theory of Error-Correcting Codes" is my favorite text book that I have been using for my coding theory courses at Michigan Tech.
Vladimir Tonchev
March 6, 2020
Jenny Key
March 6, 2020
I met Vera originally through her excellent Coding Theory book, which I used for many years as a textbook for my seniors and master's students. Her more advanced book (with Huffman) is to this day my go-to textbook for the doctoral student version of my coding theory offerings at Ohio University.

I finally met Vera in person in the late 80's when she was one of the keynote speakers we invited for an international Conference of Algebra and its Applications. After that, I saw her often at coding theory meetings and other events. She was always very kind and fun to talk to; a great influenced who will be missed.

Sergio R. López-Permouth
March 5, 2020
a loved one
March 5, 2020
I am saddened by the news. I was a PhD student of Vera at UIC from 1988 to 1990. I will always remember Vera for her kindness towards me when I was her student and her help and encouragement for me later in my career.

Xiang-dong Hou
PhD student of 1990.
Xiang-dong Hou
March 5, 2020
After graduate school in Delaware, I worked as Vera's postdoc at UIC for 2 years starting in 2001. She was a profound influence on me - a brilliant mathematician, and with a keen interest in educating the next generation. I am lucky to have worked with her for those two years in Chicago. May she rest in peace knowing all of the lives and careers she influenced.
Keith Mellinger
March 5, 2020
I met Vera Pless first time at ISIT'97 in Ulm (Germany), where she impressed me right away with her uncomplicated and direct approach to all sort of things.

For me, she was a human factor in this ambition driven business, and this is something that I will never forget.

To my understanding, she was well aware of what we call the mainstream nowadays, but she never felt tempted nor was she in need to follow ephemeral trends. This is, what she is standing for, in my memories.

Requiescat in Pace.
Marcus Greferath
March 5, 2020
Radka Russeva
March 5, 2020
Vera was one of the pioners of coding theory. She was a great mathematician and very supportive of younger mathematicians. a She was a wonderful person. She will always be remebered by her family, students, and colleagues.
RIP Prof. Pless!
Tony Shaska
March 5, 2020
Vera had a great love of life and boundless energy. She had a quirky and brilliant mind, and she truly forged new paths -- a great inspiration to many. She loved nothing better than having her family around her, especially her beloved grandchildren.
Mary Pless
March 5, 2020
Tony Shaska
March 5, 2020
thank you Vera for what you did for me
I won't forget you.
philippe gaborit
March 5, 2020
I met Vera in an AMS meeting in Chicago in 1998. Vera, being an organizer of coding theory session, was so generous to invite not only the session participants, but also those in the session for association schemes including myself, to her home for party. Thanks Vera, rest in peace.
Akihiro Munemasa
March 5, 2020
Vera Pless was one of the scientists who inspired me in my research. I met her only once but her books and papers are on my desk. May her soul rest in peace.
Stefka Bouyuklieva
March 5, 2020
Vera inspired many of us in mathematical
coding theory. She visited me twice in the 90's
while I was on the faculty of Notre Dame
University. I have fond memories of an afternoon
I spent with her somehow by chance. - It was
the free afternoon at ISIT 2001 in
Washington DC.
We both took independently the underground to
visit the National Mall in DC. - As we had the
same plan we decided to team up and walked the
whole Mall up to the Capitol building back and forth. - At times I was a little worried that
this would be too strenuous for her. But no,
she insisted that she likes to keep going
and with the exception of a coffee break
near the Capitol she did this long walk the
whole afternoon. - We had pleasant and
interesting conversations all along and
the way she kept going illustrates her a lot.
I will keep her in good memory.
Joachim Rosenthal
March 5, 2020
I met Vera at NATO ASI 2008 in Vlora, Albania. She was very kind and friendly colleague. RIP, Vera!
Zlatko Varbanov
March 5, 2020
I met Vera at NATO ASI 2008 in Vlora, Albania. She was very friendly and kind colleague. RIP, Vera!
Zlatko Varbanov
March 5, 2020
I visited Vera as a colleague twice in 95 and 97. She was very friendly but opinionated and with strong feelings for all feminist topics. I liked her special kind of humor, and the small jokes she made in her technical talks. RIP.
Patrick Sole
Coworker
March 4, 2020
Jon-Lark Kim
March 4, 2020
I was her 11th and last Ph.D. student before she retired in 2006. She gave me a lot of inspiration and passion on Coding Theory and Combinatorics. I will miss her forever.
Jon-Lark Kim
March 4, 2020
Vera was a wonderful colleague. I will always have fond memories of the times we worked together.
William Huffman
Coworker
March 4, 2020
William Huffman
March 4, 2020
Showing 1 - 23 of 23 results