In Memoriam

Karin Gatermann


Karin Gatermann


  Karin became a member of the Department of Computer Science at Western on July 1, 2004, and was cross-appointed to the Department of Applied Mathematics. She had previously been awarded an Ontario Research Chair in Computer Algebra in 2001, and a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Computer Algebra in the Department of Computer Science was awarded her in December 2004.

Her work was of the highest quality, in breadth of application and profundity of thought. Her careful organization and efficiency helped her to make the most of her very considerable talents. In addition, she had a warm and caring nature, always looking out for the best interests of her students. She had graduated six Masters (Diploma) students in Germany prior to coming to Western, and had begun to supervise one student here.

When she held the Ontario Research Chair in 2001--2002, she took many opportunities to explore Southern Ontario, and enjoyed driving through the farmlands surrounding London (she was prone to state that she was a "farmer's daughter" and retained a great love of cultivated landscapes). Her friends remember that she often stopped to take pictures of pleasant views, especially if cows were prominent in the scenery. She was a keen gardener, and during her stay took great care of the garden of the home she had rented, to the great pleasure and astonishment of her (sabbaticant) landlords. After she relinquished this Chair, she returned to Germany and from there visited other research institutions, on the Heisenberg stipend, before finally accepting an offer as assistant professor here at Western.

Shortly after her return to Canada in June 2004 to take up her position and apply for a Tier II Canada Research Chair (which she was awarded in December 2004), however, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and with liver cancer. She returned to Germany immediately and was promptly and efficiently treated, but ultimately to no avail. She passed away New Year's Day 2005, peacefully at her parents' home in Germany. She is survived by her parents, Reinhold and Hannelore Gatermann, and her brother Reiner. Donations to the German Cancer Society in lieu of wreaths were requested.

In her all-too-short time here at Western, she won the respect and friendship of many people of all ranks. She will be very greatly missed.