I had the great luck of learning classical mechanics in a course taught by Nikos Voglis. He was then professor at the Department of Physics at the University of Athens and I followed his course as a second year student. He was an inspiring teacher and he commnunicated in the most skillful way the beauty and elegance of classical mechanics. So skillful, indeed, that after this course I knew that I wanted to work on classical mechanics from that moment on.
In the following years, I worked under his supervision, first for my bachelor’s degree dissertation and later for my master’s thesis. Unfortunately for me, his main research interest, and great passion, has always been the study of galaxies. This was one of the reasons that I decided to continue my PhD studies in Dunkerque instead of Athens.
After going to Dunkerque I stayed in contact with him. I visited him several times at the Academy of Athens where he had become director of the Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics. He always showed a keen interest in my work although it was not closely related to his own research interests.
On 6 February 2007 I gave a talk at the research center. Nikos Voglis was there and we had the opportunity to talk about several things. He was describing that his main concern was always how to make the research center stronger and more competitive, and in his own words «to leave something good behind». Three days later and after I had already returned to Groningen I was devastated to learn that Nikos Voglis had passed away that morning, February 9, at the age of 59.
In the course of our lives we meet very few persons that make the experience of living so much richer. Nikos Voglis was such a person for me and, I am certain, for all his other students and colleagues. He is survived by his wife and son, and by his students.
The workshop Chaos in Astronomy that will take place in Athens between 17-20 September 2007 is dedicated to the memory of Nikos Voglis.