University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Pitt-Johnstown Remembers ‘Renaissance Man’ and Popular Mathematics Professor, Boris Kushner

Boris Kushner, a popular mathematics professor, passed away May 7, 2019.

Kushner arrived at Pitt-Johnstown in 1990. Since 1996, he held the title of Professor of Mathematics. He had close to 100 publications related to mathematics and numerous published essays, poems, and commentaries, many in his native Russian.

A specialist in mathematical logic, foundations of mathematics, the theory of algorithms, and the philosophy of mathematics, Kushner published over eighty papers on those subjects.

Aside from his longstanding, world-wide reputation in mathematics, he established himself as an internationally recognized poet, literary translator (Shakespeare’s Sonnets), essayist and political writer (both in Russian and in English), with well over 150 publications in the United States and abroad. He authored six books of poetry, published in Russia and in the United States. 

Steve Stern, Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, said, “Boris was an incredibly kind and generous spirit. He championed his colleagues and gave his all to his students. He was a renaissance man who gladly debated history in the hallway and play classical music on any available piano.  He was always there for a joke and a conversation and I will remember him for his infectious smile.”

Jennifer Manges, Biology Lab Instructor, said, “I had the great pleasure of having Dr. Kushner as a teacher while I was here.  I got a math minor, and I loved having him as a professor.  Wonderful person as a mentor and colleague!”

Dr. Jem Spectar, President of Pitt-Johnstown, said, “Dr. Kushner was a wonderful and delightful person. He was a great citizen of this world and will be sorely missed.”

Boris is survived by his wife Dr. Marina Kameneva, daughter Yulia, and son Alexander.

In lieu of flowers the family asks to consider donating to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.