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Andrew Lange, Professor of Physics at Caltech, has killed himself. He’d recently resigned as chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, to which he’d been appointed in 2008.

He’d just won the Dan David Prize. In 2003, he was California Scientist of the Year, and in ’06 he was awarded the Balzan Prize.

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From the comment thread at Discover magazine (This post’s title comes from the same thread.):

Andrew recently resigned from being chair of the division, because he felt it was interfering with his family life… [H]e was in the process of putting his personal life back together. People who sat across from him at meeting tables the day before his death saw someone who was exhausted and distressed, but not hopeless. …[S]omething beyond Andrew’s control – perhaps something chemical – must have washed over him. It wouldn’t be the first time that an antidepressant has caused sudden suicidal thoughts.

He suffered for many years from depression.

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My Sam Roweis posts are here {scroll down}.

It’s reasonable to worry whether the cluster effect was a factor.

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