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Joël Bellaïche passed away.

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I spent a semester online at Brandeis and while I had never person spoken to Prof. Bellaïche, I have heard about his importance to the department several times during my attendance.  He was relatively young and was known to be knowledgable and helpful. I still have the “French for Mathematicians” presentation saved, from his personal website, to benefit from when I go to grad school. My heart goes out to the math dept, his presence will be missed.
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I was an undergrad at Brandeis and while I didn't have a close relationship with him, I did have him as a professor for a semester about 5 years ago. There were several classes he had to miss for undisclosed health reasons (heart problems I heard) but I had no idea it was this bad. He was a incredibly intelligent man, and his French accent was so thick that learning to understand it seemed to be a rite of passage for graduate students taking the algebra sequence.
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Very sad news indeed.

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