(from The Boston Globe, Monday, December 18, 1995)



by James A. Duffy, Globe Correspondent

Anya Pogosyants and her husband Igor Slobodkin -- who came from Russia four years ago to earn graduate degrees at MIT and Tufts University respectively -- were killed Friday in Vermont.

Ms. Pogosyants was 26 and Mr. Slobodkin was 28.

The couple, who were on their way to a ski vacation in Lake Placid, NY, were killed Friday morning while driving on Route 7 near the Rutland-Pittsford town line.

Born in Russia, the couple had been friends since their high school years at the School for Mathematics in Moscow. They were married by the time they began their studies in Boston in 1990.

Ms. Pogosyants had received the coveted Red Diploma from Moscow State University. Friends of the Cambridge couple say she earned a master's degree in Computer Science at Moscow State without even touching a computer, a rare commodity in the former Soviet Union.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ms. Pogosyants made significant contributions in proving properties of randomness-containing programs. She presented findings on computer-aided verification and distributed computing at conferences.

Ms. Pogosyants filled many summer evenings by playing the guitar and singing folk songs.

Mr. Slobodkin attended the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, know as Phystech, where he earned a master's degree in physics and molecular genetics.

In his fifth year of a doctoral program at the Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, he studied the biological control of infectious yeasts.

He taught himself English by reading Alfred Lord Tennyson and seemed to train continuously for mountain climbing by doing chin-ups on door lintels, said a friend and colleague, Mark Hanson.

He climbed everything from Mount Ranier to the walls of the MIT chapel. His daring ascent of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow led to his arrest by the KGB in 1986. He was released after feigning simple-mindedness.

Mr. Slobodkin wrote poetry ranging from limericks to ballads and enjoyed photography. He dabbled in art as well, giving friends works fashioned of bicycle seats and crushed Coca-Cola bottles.

Ms. Pogosyants leaves her parents, Bella and Gregory Pogosyants of San Francisco, and her grandparents, Michail and Helena Pogosyants and Chaia Likach of Moscow.

Mr. Slobodkin leaves his parents, Wolf Slobodkin and Natasha Tomilina of Moscow, and his grandparents, Mark and Tsilla Slobodkin of Brighton.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Waterman and Sons Funeral Home in Boston. Burial will be private.