By City News Service
A retired UCLA researcher who developed a method for predicting earthquakes months in advance died Saturday at age 92, the university announced today.
Vladimir Keilis-Borok, whose expertise was in mathematics and geophysics, died at his home in Culver City following "a long illness."
He worked with experts in fields ranging from pattern recognition to chaos theory to detect precursory earthquake patterns, according to UCLA. In 2003, his team predicted a magitude-7 or larger earthquake would strike in Japan by Dec. 28, and a magnitude-8.1 quake struck on Sept. 25 that year.
"Earthquake prediction is called the Holy Grail of earthquake science and has been considered impossible by many scientists," he said in 2004. "It's not impossible."
Known to those close to him as "Volodya," Keilis-Borok also used his mathematical prowess to accurately predict who would win the popular vote for president from 1984-2008.
Keilis-Borok, born in Moscow, Russia, earned a doctorate from in mathematical geophysics from the Academy of Sciences in Moscow and began working for as a Regents' Professor for UCLA in 1998.