Ricardo Losada Márquez

Died May 2018 Bogota, Colombia

Ricardo Losada Márquez was a person of great vitality, wisdom, vision and leadership, generous with his ideas, time, efforts and affection, who deeply appreciated the importance and the “romance” of mathematics and mathematical thinking as human endeavors. This led him to work decisively toward the development of the Colombian mathematical community, presiding in a decisive era over the Colombian Mathematics Society and realizing projects from the establishment of the first postgraduate studies in mathematics to the founding of mathematical Olympiads in Colombia.

His vision opened up new horizons to countless young people, helping to show them what mathematics is beyond the limited perspective prevalent in many schools. His ideas invigorated and helped to transform mathematics in Colombia and more generally in Latin America. He was founding member and Secretary of IACME (Inter-American Commission on Mathematics Education) accompanying Marshall Stone as President (1961), remaining in that position for over a decade and working beside figures such as Luís Santaló of Argentina and Emilio Lluís of México. He was co-founder of the Colombian Math Olympiads (1981), of the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions (1984) and facilitator of the founding of the Ibero American Mathematics Olympiad (1985).

A figure consistently present at the IMO from 1981 to 2001, and at the WFNMC Congresses from 1990 to 2014, he was a friend of many in the mathematics competition community around the world, energetic, visionary, smiling, cheerful, optimistic and charming. He is and will continue to be sorely missed.

María Falk de Losada
Bogotá, July of 2018
See report of death by Colombian Mathematical Society here.

Alexander Soifer's report on his death can be found here, while here is a photo of Ricardo in the Wren Library of Cambridge University with Alexander, taken in 2006.