In memory of our beloved Marvin Knopp who died on December 24, 2011

Many people who loved Marvin were not able to attend his funeral because of the suddenness of his death. For those of you who would like to view the service for my father please click on this YouTube link.

Please note that this link consists of four sequential videos totaling 71 minutes in length.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Camphill Soltane, 224 Nantmeal Road, Glenmoore, Pennsylvania 193434, or to Meir Panim.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


It is hard coming to grips with the fact that someone so full of life, laughter, and kindness as Marvin has left this world.

My first encounter with Marvin is also one of my favorite recollections about Marvin: I was a new grad student at Temple and knocked on his door, because I wanted to study modular forms with him. It was one of the numerous times when Leon Ehrenpreis was sitting behind the second desk in Marvin's office and the two of them must have had a mathematical-or-otherwise discussion (many friends will recognize the scene I'm describing). Marvin invited me into his office and, after some friendly small talk, asked me what I had been working on. I mentioned that I had studied factoring algorithms using elliptic curves, upon which Leon and Marvin asked me excitedly to factor the number 6 (using elliptic curves). So here I was, a complete rookie, attempting to prove to two world-famous mathematicians that 6 equals 2 times 3...

I learned so much from Marvin--mathematics, teaching, mentoring, music, life... Marvin was an incredibly kind human being ("a real mensch", as he liked to call people whom he admired) and a fantastic mathematician. I am deeply grateful to have had him as a teacher, mentor, and friend, and that I get to remember his kindness, humor, and love of life, as much as I will miss seeing his friendly face and hearing the laughter in his voice.