Elbert and Carol Walker
The Year 2001

This was another year filled with travel! It has also been a year filled with great sadness.

We went to a part at Roger and Sally Hunter's in early January where a big crowd of guests played a specified series of silly card games. My partner and I happened to accidentally get the high score.  I only mention this because it may be a first for me (Carol). ;-)

We flew to New Orleans for the annual joint mathematics meetings. We had a great time, although it was cold, cold, cold.  There was a good crowd at the NMSU mathematics alumni get together. We went to Cafe Dumond and several good restaurants. And we heard some good music on the street, and visited with a lot of good friends. It is especially nice that Darel and Linda go to many of the same meetings we do!

I flew to Montrose to join with family and friends in remembering my beloved Aunt Bernice. She has added something very special to our family all these years. This was also, sadly, my last visit with Mother while she was in good health.

A few friends came by to help Elbert celebrate March 11!

This year was filled with graduations, one after another. In May, Elaine, MS in Music Technology; Chanel, high school graduation; and in June, Michelle, high school graduation. We were in New York City May 8-12, saw "Proof" and "Lion King" on Broadway--both a lot of fun. We visited the Statue of Liberty, and of course, went to the top of the World Trade Center twin towers where we admired the fantastic view of Manhattan and watched Elaine point to her apartment in Brooklyn. We attended Elaine's massive graduation in Washington Park at New York University. Then flew back to Las Cruces in time to drive to Albuquerque for Chanel's graduation party.

Mother fell in her home on May 21, and her injuries led to pneumonia. She had become very frail, and was not able to fight off this infection even with modern medical care. She died on Sunday, May 27. She was surrounded by family and friends, people who loved her very much. This has been very, very difficult. How long does it take before your instincts stop telling you to pick up the telephone and call your Mother?

We flew back to Europe in June. Our plans were to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia, on our way to the ITI-2001 conference in Pula, Croatia. We were amused to learn that Bush and Putin would be there on the same day for an historical meeting--until we arrived in Zurich and learned that the airports in Slovenia were all closed for the day for security reasons. We were rerouted to Zagreb, Croatia, where we were met by our good friend Bojana Dabelo Basic and her family, who had entertained us in Zagreb the year before. She showed us around for a couple of days, then drove us to the conference, where we spent several pleasant days, then afterwards drove us to Ljubljana. After a couple of days in that pristine city, we traveled by train to Vienna where we spent a nice evening visiting Mai Gehrke and Martin Krupa, then took the train on to Ostrava, Czech Republic and a small conference in nearby Roznov. We ended this excursion with an evening in Prague, before flying home.

We had two conferences overlapping in July--International Fuzzy Systems Association in Vancouver and Abelian Groups in Hawaii. We solved the problem by going to both, missing the first couple of days in Hawaii. We enjoyed them both. It was especially nice to visit in Hawaii with our Abelian groups friends of many years. And Vancouver and Honolulu are two of the most beautiful cities anywhere.

To mark another academic year, to meet several visitors to Las Cruces, and to celebrate Carol's birthday, Hung Nguyen hosted a garden-dinner party at his house. Carol has celebrated her birthday with several of the same people three years in a row: 1999 in Hanoi, 2000 in Taipei, and 2001 in Las Cruces, including  Berlin Wu from Taiwan who was one of the visitors here that week, Vladik and Olga Kreinovich from El Paso, and Hung, Ram, and Elbert from Las Cruces.

On Saturday, September 1, we had the privilege of hosting a wedding reception for our good friends Ram Prasad & Khuyen Nguyen. We provided music for dancing and entertainment by Dan Walker & Freddie Duran and Harley Bonham. It was an affair to be remembered!

On September 9 we flew to London. We met Hung Nguyen there and Elbert gave an invited talk at the university where Hung was visiting. Our plans were to go on to Salerno where we would all present talks at a conference and see Southern Italy for the first time. Our plans changed suddenly when we came out from Elbert's talk and learned of the attack on the twin towers. We suffered a period of great anxiety with futile attempts at telephone calls until we received an email from Elaine telling us she had been safely at home when it occurred. She had a full view of the towers from her apartment in Brooklyn, and she breathed a lot of smoke and ashes. We were too unnerved to think of continuing our travels, and stayed in London watching TV and writing email until we were able to return home. I believe all Americans smelled the smoke and ashes, even from thousands of miles away.

Upon returning home, we flew immediately to Phoenix where we were treated with  a fantastic concert at the Red River Opera House by none other than Dan Walker! We can't say enough to express how proud we were! And a special added treat-- Darel and Linda came down from Colorado for the concert.

At the end of September, we flew to Lawrence, Kansas, for Elbert to reminisce while visiting the University of Kansas. He gave a colloquium in the mathematics department, and the Porter's were wonderful hosts. We then flew to Kalispell, Montana, where John Oeff was a gracious host and showed us the sights for several days. If you ever get a chance to visit Glacier National Park, do it!

On Homecoming weekend, October 12-13, Carol was honored at a reception and breakfast as the 2001 Distinguished Alumna for the College of Arts and Sciences. It is indeed an honor, and Carol shares the credit for any deeds well done with her colleagues and her family. Elbert, Diana, David, Elaine, Chanel, Shane, and Walter all attended the events, which made the occasion very special.

Darel and I finished another version of "Doing Mathematics with Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook." The new version 4.0 will be out before the end of the year.

At the end of November, we went back to Bangkok for the Conference Intech 2001, again held at Assumption University. We then flew to Melbourne for another fuzzy conference. Thailand and Australia are both worth many visits!

We are  now looking forward, very, very much, to having our family here for Christmas. Thank you for your patience if you have read this far!

Special notice to all of you in the Denver area!

The National Space Society 21st Annual International Space  Development Conference and  Exhibition will be held

 May 23-27, 2002
 Tech Center Marriott Hotel
 Denver, Colorado

Elaine will almost surely be performing in some venue at this conference -- so mark the dates on your calendar!