I received today the terrible news that Oded Schramm, the outstanding probabilist, died two days ago in a hiking accident.

Oded was best known for his rigorous proofs of results for which heuristic arguments existed via statistical physics methods. The theory he developed with Gregory Lawler and Wendelin Werner has been spectacularly successful and it was recognized by many awards, most notably Werner’s Fields Medal.

Important problems in computer science, especially the existence of a satisfiability threshold in random 3SAT, have non-rigorous solutions via statistical physics methods, of a type that is not amenable to the Lawler-Schramm-Werner rigorous approach. The search for rigorous methods will have to continue without the leading figure of the field.

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