– The Person
Haim Nessyau was born in Tel Aviv, on June 21st,
1964, an only son to Judith and Mordechay. His long
journey of studying began at home, where his
intellectual and almost antipodal mother and father
created a very fertile ground for learning and nourished
his zest for learning, questioning and thinking.
His formal education began in 1970 in “Hakarmel” school.
Then, in 1973, Haim joined a newly formed class of
gifted children, the first of its kind in Israel. Haim
stayed with this class throughout the years in Gretz
primary school and high-school Dalet. In that class,
Haim met most of his lifetime friends that accompanied
him and his family until his last day and beyond.
In 1982, Haim joined the military academic reserve, in the
framework of which he studied towards a B.Sc. in
mathematics and computer science in the Tel Aviv
University. He graduated in 1984, Summa Cum Laude.
During the following five-year military service in the
Intelligence Force, Haim completed his Masters in
applied mathematics under the supervision of Professor
Eitan Tadmor and began working on his doctoral thesis.
After resigning from the army, in 1989, he joined Professor
Tadmor at NASA Langley Research Center, in Hampton,
Virginia, as a graduate fellow, where he continued his
mathematical research. From there, Haim went on a
six-month trip to South America, after which he returned
to Tel Aviv University as an Instructor. He completed
his doctoral dissertation in 1994 and was accepted for a
post-doctoral position as an Assistant Professor of
Computational and Applied Mathematics at the University
of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Before departing to
Los Angeles, Haim and Dafna, his partner, went on a trip
to the far east.
At dawn of April 26th, on their way down from
the Annapurna Mountain in Nepal, Haim suffered a heart
failure and passed away.
Haim’s parents decided to commemorate their son’s memory
by establishing The Nessyahu Award. The award is given
for outstanding achievements in a mathematical Ph.D.
Haim was a truly unique and outstanding person. Some of
the characteristics that made him so special in the eyes
of the people closest to him are outlined hereinafter:
was first and foremost a very dear son to his parents.
The relations between the threesome were based on love,
friendship and deep mutual respect, which bridged the
vast differences that divided them. This rare
combination of love and respect on one hand, and
profound differences in thoughts, beliefs and viewpoints
on the other hand, enabled Haim to get the best from his
parents and give back the best from himself.
was an amazingly gifted friend. More than few people
viewed him as their best friend. He (as well as his
house) was the center of a group of 30-40 friends that
go back to primary school. Years after his departure,
his house still remains a focal point for that group of
friends, very much thanks to Judith.
was a man of high intelligence, deep understanding of
the world around him and a never-satiable appetite for
more. His understanding of the world encompassed diverse
areas such as physics, philosophy, history, politics,
sociology, sports and films.
was a well-defined man who knew exactly who he was. He
grew in a house where the mother was religious and a
nationalist, while the father was secular (a la Spinoza)
and a socialist. Haim, influenced by both and witnessing
their dialog, went through his own self-crystallization
process until he defined to himself who he is and what
are his beliefs and stands in all avenues of life.
didn’t have one bad bone in his body”, Haim was once
described by one of his friends. Indeed, Haim was a
truly kind and generous man. This benevolence, combined
with his wisdom and the interest that he arose,
fascinated so many people to him.
loved life and was loved by life. He took the best of it
and, despite his apparent earnestness, had a great
joie de vivre. One of the things he liked most was
travelling. Like a comet, he covered half of the globe
during his short life. His trips took him to most all
countries of Europe, North and South America, Iceland,
the Galapagos islands India and Nepal, were he died.
Back to top