Very sorry to hear about the passing away of Peter, a very good friend and collaborator. Benefitted from his extraordinary vision in geometry of Banach spaces. Sincere condolences to the family and friends.
We are so sorry to have learnt the passing of your father and our dear friend/big brother Peter’s passing. Please first accept our deepest condolences to the family, especially to Xin our dear friend and please help remind her of 节哀顺变、保重身体！We would like to recount: a) great leadership with fairness and transparency. I still remember vividly that when I first came to the Department when was Peter’s earlier tenure as the chair, department meetings often ended with deadlock, when some people would often cite Robert’s Rules to slow/stop decision making, perhaps due to their suspicion of true intents behind agenda, so from their even earlier bad experiences? But gradually under Peter’s leadership and due to his great skill, transparency and fairness in decision making and resource distribution, he turned the Department around, started building trust among colleagues who may have different priorities and near the end of his tenure as the Chair, such RR fight ceased to exist. B) Peter and Herb taught me the practice of preparing talking points on the Department highlights, namely 15-30 seconds recounts of math greatest achievements. It’s so wide-used today, but much less so when I became the chair. His teaching greatly empowered and enhanced my capacity to advocate for the Department, something I still remember today. C) at the time when I came to the math, Senior faculty like Peter, Herb, Paul, Ken, Charles would often bring their lunch and ate at the Muhly Lunge, I gradually became a “frequent customer”, such environment was very welcoming to a newer and junior faculty like me, where you got to know your colleagues at a more personal level, built rapport and learnt the culture fast. It’s very beneficial to me. D) even it’s very challenging to continue to recruit faculty, Peter never gave up, and always dreamed big for the department’s future in terms of strengthening its research enterprise. I still remember the countless times when Peter would brainstorm of bringing established researchers to the department. E) Peter is very entrepreneurial. I recalled a time when Peter brought to my attention of a potentially big endowment to the department. He helped manage a great donor engagement event. If it’s not for the 2008-2009 financial crisis that crippled stock market, I believe that Peter would have been successful!
We also want to say that we always regard Peter as a big brother that Yi never had. Take care, Shan & Yi
Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter's family. We appreciate the friendships we shared with all of you during our kids' mutual school and swimming experiences. Peter was a quiet, very competent man who was fun to talk to about almost any subject. Throughout our friendship he exuded a love of, and pride in, his entire family. Even though it has been some time, we cherish the memories of watching both our families grow and flourish.
Blessings, Bob and Diane DeWitt (and Marty, Melissa & Miki)