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One year ago: Israel Gelfand

Gelfand Israel Gelfand, whose research laid the framework for MRI and CT scanners, was a mathematical Mozart.

"We like Mozart not because of a particular piece that he created," said Edward Frenkel of UC Berkeley. "It's the totality of his work and its profound beauty that make him a great composer. Gelfand thought the same applied to his work."

Gelfand's genius was in his ability to contribute in more than a dozen areas while most mathematicians were becoming more specialized.

Gelfand died a year ago at age 96. His obituary appeared in The Times on Oct. 11, 2009.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Israel Gelfand. Credit: Rutgers University

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