Sunday, February 2, 2014

One of the first courses in my PhD program was an advanced economics math course. In that course I met a fellow named Noah. Noah had just completed his MA in econ at University of Miami, Ohio, and was in the pure Econ PhD program (I was a PoliSci guy). He and I hit it off, and started doing our studying together. We got each other through that course, along with advanced econometrics and advanced game theory. Often he and I would go to a local pub and get a table in the back. While knocking back pints of beer, we would sit with our calculators and derive moment generating functions, or whatever other hard-core math we had to study. We proof-read and commented on each other’s papers, and commiserated over the good and the bad professors we experienced or endured. When we weren’t studying, we were playing poker, or engaging in cooking contests, or organizing wine tastings. Noah was a brilliant mind, and dedicated to his field. He passed away earlier this week, aged only 32 years. You can’t go through what we went through together without forming a bond, and we were very close. When I found out earlier today that he’d passed, I pulled out my text book on mathematical statistics, and stuck in the pages was the final exam study sheet for Econ 308. He and I spent a week together studying for that exam, cooped up in whatever room we could find available. I remember it well. Noah burned brightly, but, unfortunately, unstably. The notice I got says he died of his personal demons. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I can guess. Noah, I hope you are in a better place and have found the peace you were seeking. I will miss you my friend.

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