In Memory of Abel Cadenillas (1960-2024)

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Professor Abel Cadenillas after a long and serious illness. In Abel, we have lost a highly respected colleague, an excellent researcher, a popular instructor, and a caring supervisor. He had a profound impact on the Department, his students, and the research in mathematical finance and stochastic control theory.

Abel completed his doctoral studies at Columbia University in 1992. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, he became a Rosenbaum Visiting Fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. After serving as a Professor of Finance at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Abel joined our Department as an assistant professor in 1996. He was awarded tenure in 2000 and promoted to full professor in 2007.

A hallmark of Abel’s research is the subtle combination of intricate mathematical methods with real-world applications in finance, economics, and operations research. Through publications in top journals across different fields, he attracted international recognition from both the mathematics and financial economics communities. His early work focused on the innovative development of the stochastic maximum principle for various control problems. In the emerging field of mathematical finance, he applied these techniques to analyze and solve significant problems related to optimal consumption, investment, dividend policies, transaction costs, and exchange rates. By extending these applications and demonstrating their value to financial economics, Abel provided new insights into managerial compensation and risk sharing as stochastic control problems. Over the last decade, he further expanded his research to include government debt control, insurance contracts, and, most recently, pollution control.

At the University of Alberta, Abel contributed substantially to our undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematical finance. He played a key role in developing and launching the PhD Program in Mathematical Finance in 1999, the first of its kind in Canada. Abel’s legacy lives on through the careers of his former graduate students, who have gone on to assume significant roles worldwide.

Rest in peace, Abel. We will miss you dearly.

A celebration of life event in honour of Abel’s contributions will be held on August 28, 2024, at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), with an online option to view the presentation on Zoom. For more information and to register (by August 13, 2024), please see here.

Best regards,

Christoph Frei
Professor and Chair
Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
University of Alberta