Remembering Yiran Fan

On January 9th 2021 we suffered the tragic loss of Yiran Fan. Yiran was a 4th year student in the Finance joint program.

An active participant in discussion groups, a remarkable┬áTA and always sharp, his absence was immediately felt by many. As a humble service to his memory, and so that those who didn’t know him could get a glance at him, we collected memories from people in the department. Please reach out if you’d like to contribute.

  • He was one of the sharpest minds I’ve seen around. I was one of the most regular students in his office hours as a TA for our econometrics course offered by Prof. Hansen. Yiran took extraordinary care in clarifying all the questions I had from the course. It was not only reflective of his excellence in teaching, but also of his above average grasp of the subject matter. It was devastating to see his name in the pages of all the big national dailies like the NYT, as one of the several victims of this senseless crime. I couldn’t help but note what a cruel joke this was. Because it was not at all unexpected that the name of a brilliant future scholar like Yiran would one day appear in the biggest publications. But I expected that to be some time in the future when he had become an established scholar in his field and was, e.g., being quoted by┬áthe publication on some finance-related topic. Not as a crime statistic.
  • Yiran will be remembered as our smartest and warmest friend. I got to know him when I went to macro-finance initiative in Princeton, and we had a chance to talk a lot about Economics, Finance, and other personal lives while we were sharing the hotel room. He was one of the sharpest person that I’ve ever met and also very nice to talk with. Since then, whenever I bumped into him, he greeted me with a kind smile and we talked about our lives and research. I wish I had more opportunities to share time with him. It is a tragedy that we lost this true scholar and sincere friend. We will miss him a lot. (Younghun)
  • Yiran was one of my TAs last quarter. I still visualize from time to time what it was like listening to his lectures. He was an exceptional teacher and a very bright scholar. His ability to interpret and parse down economic concepts was amazing. He was also a kind human being, and I was grateful at how open he was to taking my questions. Yiran was also charismatic, which made watching him lecture and interacting with him an absolute pleasure.
  • Yiran was one of the best person I have ever met. I cherished, like so many others, his enthusiasm and kindness. He was amongst the greatest teacher I have had, he always dedicated his full energy to go the extra mile, to be sure everyone had understood everything. In particular, I will miss his sense of humor, subtle but full of brightness. I will always remember his smile, as he was writing for us on the whiteboard. We will all dearly miss Yiran.
  • Yiran was a great and thoughtful person. My interactions with him were mostly in the classroom, where I had the pleasure of having him as a teaching assistant several times in my first two years at Chicago. His discussions were always mandatory in that he had a talent in making extremely difficult topics accessible to his students, a skill only few excel at. He will be dearly missed. (Michael Varley)
  • I met Yiran in the student theory workshop. Watching him present his work, one could tell that he not only had great talent, but was truly passionate about economics and loved what he did.

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