In memory of Omar Foda
Omar was born in Cairo, Egypt on 18th March 1953. He grew up during the start of the Space Age and this inspired him at a young age to study theoretical and mathematical physics.
He first graduated with an engineering degree from Cairo University in 1975 and a Masters level degree (Part III of the Mathematical Tripos) in mathematical physics from Cambridge University in 1979. A highlight for Omar during his time in Cambridge was attending a lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking, which he found incredibly inspiring.
Omar was accepted into the PhD program at Purdue University, USA. He wrote his thesis on renormalization in quantum field theory (The Technical Fine-Tuning Problem in Renormalized Perturbation Theory) and received his PhD in 1983.
His first postdoctoral position was at ICTP, Trieste, Italy from 1983 to 1985. From 1985 to 1991 he held Research Fellowships at the State University, Utrecht and the Catholic University, Nijmegen, both in The Netherlands. He joined the University of Melbourne as a lecturer in 1992 and was promoted to Professor in 2010.
Omar enjoyed the varied roles that came with his career. He was passionate about science, collaboration, teaching and providing students with opportunities to learn and to pursue research. Omar was widely regarded for his scientific integrity.
Omar’s research expertise was in mathematical physics, in particular on the application of combinatorics and integrable models to quantum spin chains, conformal and quantum field theory, and string theory. Omar’s collaborations with distinguished academics around the world, especially in Japan, earned him lifelong deep respect from that community.
Omar passed away on 4th May 2020 after a long illness and will be forever missed by his family, friends and colleagues.
The School of Mathematics is establishing a student award in honour of Omar - his long career and his passion for research and teaching. If you would like to make a gift to the School in memory of Omar, it will contribute to this award: