Mourning the Passing of Godfried Toussaint

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our beloved colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend Godfried Toussaint passed away while sharing his scholarly work with colleagues at a conference in Japan.

Godfried joined the NYU Abu Dhabi community in 2011 and, as Professor and Program Head of Computer Science, played a central role in shaping the excellence of our Computer Science program in both teaching and professional distinction. Godfried was a profoundly caring and effective teacher, who brought the beauty and potential of the field alive as he masterfully cultivated students’ grasp of its central concepts and applications. He was also a renowned and deeply respected scholar, whose outstanding academic and research contributions in computational geometry, artificial intelligence, machine learning, music information retrieval, pattern recognition, pattern analysis, and design were broadly recognized around the globe.

He was widely considered the “father of computational geometry” and received a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Association of Computer Science in 2018, among many other distinguished awards.

He received his BSc degree from the University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US, and MASc and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1968, 1970, and 1972, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.

The University is in touch with Godfried’s family and is offering assistance in this sad time. We know that many of you will want to send condolences to his family, and we will share information on how to do so as soon as possible.

Our thoughts go out to Godfried’s wife, Eva, his daughter, Stephanie, to his colleagues across the University and worldwide, and to the countless students whose lives he touched.

If you would find it helpful to speak with a counselor about this loss, the NYUAD Employee Well-Being Program offers support to all NYUAD employees and their family members. Students who feel they may need additional support may access 24/7 counseling services through NYU's Wellness Exchange (+971-02-628-5555) or by contacting the NYUAD Health Center (+971-02-628-8124 or nyuad.healthcenter@nyu.edu) to schedule an appointment.

We are planning a remembrance gathering for Godfried on campus in the fall and will share additional details with the community at that time.

In deepest sorrow,
Fabio Piano, Al Bloom, and Mariet Westermann