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Remembering Stephen Hawking

by Brianne Brown

"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change." –Stephen Hawking

March 14th is generally a celebration of all things math and science. One of science’s most recognizable figures is Albert Einstein, whose birthday is celebrated alongside Pi Day (3.14—the numerical equivalent of pi). But while STEM enthusiasts have cause for celebration today, so too do we mourn the loss of Dr. Stephen Hawking, who died early Wednesday morning at the age of 76.

Hawking’s contributions to the study of the universe and his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, will live on as the pillars on which modern theoretical cosmology is built.

Plagued by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for most of his adult life, Hawking was determined that his degrading physical abilities would not impact his mental faculties. Indeed, Hawking remained one of the most intelligent and witty minds in the field, and his death leaves the community bereft.

We can’t help but make the connection that Hawking’s birth was 300 years to the day of Galileo Galilei’s death and Hawking’s death comes 139 years to the day of Einstein’s birth. So while we mourn the passing of an incredible mind, we are reminded that life—and our brief history in time—is circular.