Roy Radner, who died on October 6 2022 at Pennswood Village in Newtown, PA, aged 95, enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a teacher and researcher. Given his dedication to his field and the principles of equality, his family wishes to establish a travel fund for “Edgers” in his memory. We hope that you will join us in donating to this fund as a way of honouring Roy.
Roy is best known for his contributions to microeconomics, a field in which he taught as Stern Professor at NYU until 2017. As a researcher, he brought his curiosity and intellect to a range of areas, including climate change, bounded rationality, game-theoretic models of corruption, pricing of information goods, and statistical theory of data mining. He published prolifically and typically worked collaboratively, often seeking out younger colleagues. He also received many honours, both at home and abroad. To name a few, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1961-62), which enabled him to travel to France with his family. Later in life, he gave the 1989-1990 Marshall Lectures at the University of Cambridge, considered the high point of a career by many in Great Britain.
Roy’s beginnings were modest. Born in Chicago on June 29 1927, to Samuel and Ella Radner, both from Eastern European immigrant families, he attended public high school and completed a Ph.B. in Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago in 1945 on a scholarship. His education was interrupted by his service in the US Armed Forces. Upon his return to Chicago, he again took up his studies, receiving a BS in 1950, a MS in mathematics in 1951 and a PhD in mathematical statistics in 1956, all from the University of Chicago. Subsequent to appointments as Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago and Yale University, he joined the University of California at Berkeley as an Associate Professor in 1957, where he was promoted to Professor in 1961 at the age of 34. He left Berkeley in 1979 to join the technical staff at Bell Labs where he could devote himself exclusively to research. In 1995 he retired from Bell Labs to join NYU and in 1996 was appointed Leonard N. Stern School Professor of Business, and in 2007 received the additional title of Professor of Environmental Studies. Indeed, he was an ardent and early whistle blower when it came to the issues surrounding climate change.
Throughout the course of his life, Roy was a loving father, devoted spouse, and generous to colleagues, students, and friends. The encouragement he provided to those seeking higher education extended to his own family, with all of his four children gaining advanced degrees. Fittingly, he was a supportive and empowering father to EDGE’s current President and leader, Ami Radunskaya.
EDGE as an organisation is predicated on the idea that “we cannot separate the quest for equity and diversity in mathematics and science research from the task of bringing benefit and reducing harm to the human community and to the planet,” clearly representing the ideals and aspirations that marked Roy’s educational ethos and worldview––perspectives that we are in danger of losing today.
Please consider supporting EDGE to as a way of remembering Roy and giving new life to the ideas that he promoted. He strongly believed in the value of collaboration and discussion––of extending the research conversation beyond national borders. As such, a travel grant in his name for young researchers is a befitting tribute to his life and work.