Remembering Robin Thomas, Regents' Professor and Renowned Mathematician

April 15, 2020

Learn about the Robin Thomas Memorial Fellowship at the bottom of this story.

"Follow your passion, value your education, and work hard," Robin Thomas advised graduates when he delivered Georgia Tech's Fall 2016 Ph.D. and Master's Commencement address. "Don't give up in the face of hardship, and have fun." 

Thomas, a renowned mathematician and Regents' Professor in the School of Mathematics at Georgia Tech, died on March 26, 2020, following a long struggle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

A world leader in graph theory, Thomas joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1989, where he established a remarkable legacy of research and teaching that included serving as leader of the Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization Ph.D. program. In 2016, Thomas received the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor for a professor at Georgia Tech, recognizing more than 25 years of outstanding achievement in teaching, service, and research.

Thomas was awarded the Fulkerson Prize for outstanding papers in discrete mathematics twice — in 1994 as co-author of a paper on the Hadwiger conjecture, and in 2009 for the proof of the strong perfect graph theorem. In 2011, he was awarded the Karel Janeček Foundation Neuron Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Mathematics. In 2012, he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He was named a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Fellow in 2018.

Thomas published more than 100 research papers in top journals, including Annals of Mathematics and the Journal of the American Mathematical Society. His extraordinary research record includes several major results, any one of which would be considered a lifetime highlight.

The College of Sciences and the School of Mathematics at Georgia Tech join Thomas' family and friends in celebrating his life and legacy:

 

A Renowned Mathematician 

The recent passing of Regents' Professor Robin Thomas has left a hole in the School of Mathematics, and in our hearts. Robin was known not just for his extaordinary mathematical renown, but also for his kindness and mentorship. The lives he touched are many, and we wished to share the thoughts and prayers of some of them, in tribute to a great man.

Pace Academy Announcement

I am writing to let you know that Pace parent Dr. Robin Thomas passed away on March 26 following a long and courageous battle with ALS. Robin was 57 years old. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Sigrun Andradottir, and three children: Misha Andra-Thomas '17, senior Klara Andra-Thomas and eighth-grader Martin Andra-Thomas. 

Born in Prague,