October 25, 2021

The Graduate Center community is deeply saddened by the passing of Professor Emeritus Alphonse T. Vasquez (Mathematics), who died on October 14, 2021, after a long illness.
Vasquez was appointed to the Graduate Center mathematics faculty as an associate professor in 1968 and as a fulll professor in 1973. He was appointed to the Computer Science program faculty in 1982. He was the official supervisor of three Ph.D. students and unofficially mentored many more students during his tenure. He retired as a professor emeritus in 2009.  
Vasquez published broadly, writing papers on algebraic topology, differential geometry, cell complexes, number theory, and complex analysis. He enjoyed collaborating with others and had nine collaborators over his career, five of them colleagues at CUNY.  
Colleagues remember that one could always find Al in his office ready to talk about mathematics. He was extremely knowledgeable and eager to think about other people’s problems. He welcomed questions, encouraged vigorous discussion, and was active in department seminars.
Vasquez was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied mathematics at MIT. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a member of the mathematics program at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton from 1962 to 1964, and taught at Brandeis University before coming to the Graduate Center. Vasquez was named an inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2013. In addition to teaching at the Graduate Center, Vasquez worked as a consultant at the IDA Center for Communications Research in Princeton, New Jersey, and at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Labs.
After retirement from the Graduate Center, Vasquez moved to Washington, DC. He enjoyed travel and made several trips to Europe and across the U.S. He moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, in 2016 to be near family. He is survived by his daughter, Cathleen Walker; son-in-law, Ross Walker; grandsons, Aaron Walker and Ryan Walker; second wife, Katherine Wyatt; and stepdaughters, Nora Bloch, Emily Bloch, and Rachel Bloch.