In Memoriam: Peyman Gohari 

Peyman Gohari died peacefully, surrounded by his family just a few days short of his 38th birthday.

Gohari was an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests were control of discrete-event systems and formal methods. He received a BSc degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran, in 1992, MSc and PhD degrees in Control from University of Toronto. He joined Concordia's faculty upon completing his PhD in 2002.

He passed away at the Montreal Neurological Hospital. Gohari is survived by his wife Nouri, and his 4-year-old son Armin. A celebration of his life was held on Nov. 13 at Toronto's Islamic Iranian Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Montreal Neurological Institute. On the memo portion of the cheque please write: Dr. Del Maestro's Research in memory of Peyman Gohari.

What follows is personal memorial submitted by Amin Mannani:

Dr. Peyman Gohari passed away in Montreal Neurological Hospital on November 8, 2008 after a three-month fight with brain cancer.

The first time I heard about Dr. Gohari was when I and my wife, Elham, were searching for PhD positions in October 2003. At that time, my wife had already received an offer from Concordia University and it was a great incentive for me to find a position there, too. Dr. Gohari had posted a vacant position on his webpage. On top of the usual application documents, he required the summary of a paper he had cited. I did not know him at all, but saw this as evidence of his careful criteria and considerations about his students. Elham and I started our PhDs in May 2004.

In the first visit, Dr. Gohari welcomed me by inviting me to lunch where we discussed my new field of research and gave me advice for settling down in Montreal. It was then when I recognized his sense of responsibility for his students and his humble and frank interaction with them. Soon after, he attended a conference in Banff and I remember the enthusiasm with which he elaborated on the works presented in the conference when we next met. From then until the last week of July, when his chemotherapy caused him to cancel his last meeting with me, we had weekly research meetings where we discussed different papers and developed our own ideas. I cherished his guidance and careful and deep observations.

Quality, high academic standards, and punctuality were his top priorities. His style of representing ideas was rigorous and exemplary. He was an excellent listener and his comments improved the clarity and soundness of our research work. Yet he was so professionally humble that despite his excellent academic capabilities, I never saw him trying to show himself superior to even the freshman students.

Dr. Gohari loved research in its true sense and was generous in sharing his views and knowledge with others. It was thanks to this keen interest that the graduate students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department could register in two reading courses he developed and offered with no financial compensation.

As a supervisor he was always involved in every detail of the research done by the students under his supervision. We all appreciated his valuable, timely feedback. In his feedback he distinguished between the mistakes we had made and his own academic taste, which he never urged us to follow. Since 2002 he supervised 3 PhD and 6 master's students and contributed quality works to his fields of research.

His enthusiasm towards research did not compete with his excellent skills as a teacher. He explained the most difficult problems in a simple manner and motivated students through discussions to gain confidence in exploring their own theories. I witnessed how much effort he put in preparing his mathematically-precise lecture notes and how responsible he felt in following course schedules and answering students’ questions. One of his undergraduate students once told me that students learned a lot from the way Dr. Gohari let them verify the way of approaching problems through working with and criticizing their approaches rather than imposing his own views.

I am very happy that I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of an exceptional researcher and a true friend.

- Amin Mannani


Concordia University