Michael Luby, Middlebury

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I was in three Physics classes with Pavlo at Middlebury; 201 Relativity in the fall term and 202 Quantum Mechanics and 212 Applied Math in the spring term. For the longest time I was sure he was a sophomore or upperclassmen since he was doing so well in those difficult classes, but he was actually class of 2011, a first-year. Pavlo was brilliant at Physics, and modest about it too–On a weekly basis the physics students would be holed up in Bi Hall’s fifth floor study room working frantically on a problem set as the deadline approached, and Pavlo would be there, patiently advising someone on how to approach a particularly difficult problem. He was very good at giving concise, clear explanations, but they were always general–he never just gave out the solutions. They say the best way to find out what you know is to try to teach it to someone else, and by that measure Pavlo thoroughly understood Physics.

While most of my time with Pavlo was in class or working on problem sets, I’d often see him after class at one of the big tables in Ross Dining Hall eating and laughing with some of his friends. Somehow they always seemed to having a great time, even when the rest of us were tearing our hair out studying for finals and the like. I saw him briefly this summer at the beginning of Middlebury’s Language School Program. After an orientation program in Bi Hall, I found him and Semi snagging some free food in the Great Hall. They were both doing summer research work, and I remember Pavlo being particularly excited about his project. He must have really liked studying physics with the Middlebury professors.

I had been looking forward to seeing him in class and around campus next fall. I’ll miss him.

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