Dr. Ivan Rival (born March 15, 1947)
The Globe and Mail, Saturday, January 26, 2002
His family announces with great regret that Dr. Ivan Rival passed away unexpectedly, in Ottawa, on January 22, 2002, of heart failure. He was 54. Words cannot express our shock and sorrow. Ivan was a great father, loving husband, dear friend, software innovator and internationally renowned scientist.
Ivan grew up in Hamilton where his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic. He studied mathematics at the University of Manitoba. He not only excelled in his studies, completing his doctorate in 1974, but also participated fully in the political life of the campus. It was in these years that he also acquired a profound interest in the arts, music and literature, an interest he nurtured in himself and in others his entire life. He met his beloved wife, Hetje, in Holland in 1974. It was love at first sight--the two married the same year and grew ever closer over the years.
From his early days as a mathematician at the University of Calgary, Ivan quickly became a leader in many fields. Through the international conferences he organized in Banff, he brought the theory of ordered sets into prominence and became a world leader in the field, inspiring a generation of mathematicians. Over the years, Ivan discovered applications of this theory and involved dozens of scientists in this pursuit.
He joined the University of Ottawa Computer Science Department in 1986 where he used his exceptional talent in pure science to realize practical applications for a broad public. One of these applications is "Degree Navigator", an innovative software product that combines a sense of esthetics and science and is currently used by over one million people in the academic community. This work led to the founding of DAG, which under his leadership and vision grew to a dynamic and highly respected software company with clients worldwide. DAG specializes in software for the academic world--bringing him back to his academic roots as a successful businessman.
Ivan was not just an outstanding scientist and entrepreneur. He also possessed a tremendous ability to inspire and lead many others in turning an idea into a successful reality.
He traveled extensively abroad and always brought his family along on a memorable cultural adventure. Together with his wife, he encouraged his children to study hard, to love learning, to adopt a scientific outlook and to be culturally broad-minded--his presence will forever be felt.
Ivan is survived by his wife, Hetje; children, Robert, David and Katia; daughter-in-law, Chantal; and his parents, Edith and Zoltan.
Friends may pay their respects on Saturday, January 26 at 2-4pm or 7-9pm at Kelly Funeral Homes, 1255 Walkley Rd., Ottawa. A memorial will be held on Monday, January 28 at 11am at the Chapel of Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa, 550 Cumberland, followed by the burial at 12:30pm at Beechwood Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Ave. (Vanier/Ottawa). A reception will follow at 1:30pm in Salon Sussex, Ottawa Marriott, 100 Kent St. Messages of condolence can be sent to the family care of Dr. Rivalís eldest son, Robert, email: firstname.lastname@example.org