Everyone called him Kei, the intellectual leader who for forty years brought new methods to a more quantitative understanding of dynamic processes within the Earth. Kei Aki died on 17 May this year on Réunion Island, the “hot spot” in the Indian Ocean that had been his home since retirement from academic life in the United States. He will be known for his many research results in seismology as well as for his team leadership in developing probabilistic estimates of seismic hazard.1

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Kei was born in Japan to a family of engineers with a 100-year tradition of education and...

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