Colleagues, students and friends at CEU mourn the loss of Gábor Kézdi, formerly professor of economics at CEU, most recently research associate professor at the University of Michigan.
Visitors to CEU's Budapest campus can see an introductory video about life at CEU. Several scenes were shot in a fully packed classroom, with Gábor pacing in front of students, engaging them in discussion about data analysis.
The classroom is where Gábor belonged. Hundreds of students were inspired by his passion for social science and data analysis. He worked closely with dozens of advisees; he was a thoughtful and gentle mentor to students as well as colleagues. He was a resident tutor at Rajk College and received the CEU Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. Building on his long teaching experience, he has recently published a textbook with Gábor Békés on "Data Analysis for Business, Economics and Policy" at Cambridge University Press.
Gábor's research was driven by some of the biggest societal issues, such as racial inequality and equal opportunity in education. He has written many influential papers and tested several effective interventions on the discrimination against Roma youth. He also made important contributions to survey methods, data collection and econometrics. Most recently, Gábor was researching the economics of aging, cognition and risk taking. Gábor's agenda echoed the most noble traditions in economics: look for big, pressing questions, and bring to bear all the necessary methods to answer them.
At CEU, Gábor helped develop the Department of Economics as the Head of Department between 2010 and 2014. Faculty and staff of the department remember the collegial and fun atmosphere that he created and is still present since.
Gábor passed away after a long illness on June 29 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 50 years old.
Obituary by Miklós Koren, Professor in the Department of Economics and Business, Central European University.