London University professor found dead in forest near Moscow

25th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Russian mathematician and professor of computer science at the University of London has been found dead after getting lost in a wooded park outside Moscow, colleagues said Thursday.

Alexey Chervonenkis, 76, disappeared after going for a walk on Sunday in a large national park called Losiny Ostrov, or Elk Island. His body was found Tuesday.

He is believed to have died from hypothermia after wandering for at least a day.

The academic worked at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and was emeritus professor of computer science of the University of London. He helped to develop the Vapnik-Chervonenkis theory used in computer science.

"Alexey was an avid walker... he went for a walk in Losiny Ostrov, a beautiful forest in Moscow, and lost his way," the Computer Learning Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, said in a statement.

The emergencies ministry branch in the Moscow region said simply a body was removed from a boggy area of the park on Tuesday.

The professor's body was discovered by a large search party of volunteers, many of them employees of the Russian search engine Yandex, where Chervonenkis taught data analysis.

"Unfortunately we could not save Alexey Andreyevich," a post on Yandex's corporate Facebook page said. "We grieve this loss and give our deepest condolences to his relatives."

The search party's coordinator Grigory Sergeyev wrote that Chervonenkis probably died of "serious hypothermia" after calling his wife to say he had fallen into water.

Dozens of people lose their way and die in Russia's vast forests every year, especially in autumn when daytime temperatures are mild but can drop close to freezing at night.

© 2014 AFP

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