Professor and colleague Sol Feferman died early Tuesday morning, July 26. He had suffered a stroke in April, and, though at first it seemed mild, his condition worsened over the summer. Professor Lanier Anderson (of the Philosophy department) visited him on Sunday and reports that “He was relatively energetic that day, and spent several hours with friends and family in the house and on his back deck enjoying the sunshine and their beautiful view of the Stanford foothills. Although he had become very weak, he was clearly able to follow along and react to the conversation, and he retained his trademark good humor and quiet affection.”
After completing his doctoral work in mathematics at UC-Berkeley under Alfred Tarski, Sol joined the departments of Mathematics and Philosophy at Stanford in 1956. Recognized as a leader in mathematical logic internationally, with substantial contributions in proof theory and the foundations of mathematics, Sol brought strength, insight and inspiration to logic community at Stanford for 60 years. He served as chair of the Mathematics Department from 1985 to 1992 and as president of the Association for Symbolic Logic from 1980 to 1982. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, editor-in-chief of Kurt Gödel’s Collected Works, and co-author of a biography of Alfred Tarski (with his wife Anita). He received the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 2003.
He is survived by his daughter Julie and granddaughters Isabel and Grace.
UPDATE: A memorial service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, October 8th, 4:00-6:00pm at the Stanford Faculty Club.
In addition, the Departments of Philosophy and Mathematics at Stanford are planning a symposium event to celebrate Sol’s work, which will be held in the late Spring. Details will follow.