News, Obituaries

Physics professor passed away Wednesday

courtesy UM Physics

Professor Josef Ashkenazi, known to some as “Yossi,” passed away last Wednesday. Ashkenazi, who was born in Beit Hanan, Israel, in 1944, had been teaching at the University of Miami for the past 24 years.

Ashkenazi attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem, graduating with a Ph.D. in physics. In 1988, he came to teach at the University of Miami, where he became a tenured professor.

According to an obituary published in The Miami Herald, Ashkenazi had been publishing work in the field of superconductivity until recently.

Kenneth Voss, physics professor and chairman for UM’s Department of Physics, began teaching at the university around the same time as Ashkenazi. The two professors worked together, at one point co-teaching an introductory physics course.

“It was fun to teach with him because Yossi always took care of the details,” Voss said.

With his help, James Nearing, a UM professor who retired last May, will take over the class, according to Voss.

“Yossi was extremely organized and had lots of energy,” Voss said. “He was always done ahead of time. His energy in the department will be missed. It’s going to be hard. He was a positive and optimistic person.”

Voss said that it was quiet in the physics department the Thursday and Friday after he died.

Senior Liliana Paan was in Ashkenazi’s introductory physics course this semester. She remembers Ashkenazi’s cheerful demeanor.

“Even though I had professor Ashkenazi for only two months, you felt how caring he was for his students and the love he had for physics,” said Paan, a psychology major. “He made going to class enjoyable by incorporating jokes and demonstrations into his lectures. There wasn’t one class he did not smile and crack a joke.”

Senior Sara Gutekunst also took Ashkenazi’s introductory physics course this semester. She was hesitant about taking physics, but was surprised to see how Ashkenazi conducted his class.

“He made it fun. It wasn’t too difficult,” she said. “It was a great surprise. I really liked him as a teacher. He was pretty humorous and I enjoyed the class.”

Though Gutekunst believes she is sure they will replace him with a good teacher, she will miss his energy and the way he taught.

“I’m going to miss him,” Gutekunst said. “I was really stunned when they told us he had passed away.”

October 7, 2012

Reporters

Stephanie Parra

Editor-in-chief


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G6: Time again for the latest installment of the Canesfan Satisfaction ...

Syracuse student writer Matthew Gutierrez of The Daily Orange asked me to answer some of his questio ...

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.