Ruy Exel Filho was born in 2nd of July of 1956, son of Ruy Exel (Engineer) and Cecília Exel (English Teacher). In 1976 he finished his Math undergrad studies at the university of São Paulo (USP) where he got influenced by César Polcino towards Pure Algebra. In 1977 he first left São Paulo to take a summer course at IMPA (Rio de Janeiro). There he met Ricardo Mane as a student of Functional Analysis, which then directed his interest towards this field of research. In 1981 he then went to the University of California where he did his PhD under the supervision of Marc Rieffel.
It was also in California that Ruy started one of his main hobbies, the practice of windsurfing.
After his return to Brazil he obtained a pos-doctoral scholarship from FAPESP to attended a special program on Operator Algebras (organised by David Evans) that took place at the University of Warwick, England, during 1986-87. There he met important people from the Operator Algebra world, like Alain Connes, Dick Kadison, Paul Baum, George Elliott, among others. After his return to Brazil in 1987 he started to publish several papers on Operator Algebras and co-related fields.
Im the nineties he was a visiting professor at New Mexico University invited by his colleague, Terry Loring. In this period he started to get interested in the interplay between Operator Algebras and Dynamical Systems.
Due to the violence and tension caused by the big São Paulo metropole, and also motivated by the practice of Windsurfing, Ruy moved to Florianópolis in 1998 -- he is therefore already 20 years here and can be considered already as a ``Manezinho".
In Florianópolis Ruy started to work alone on Operator Algebras and started very soon to call attention of students. He advised in Florianópolis several master and doctoral students, including some of the present organizers of this conference (Alcides, Daniel, Gilles, Giuliano) who are now professors at UFSC.
Ruy Exel is considered today one of the lead experts on Operator Algebras. His impressive curriculum contains a list of roughly 100 papers published in top rated journals, many of them in collaborations with well-known stablished researchers all around the world, many of those are present here today. And his book entitled ``Partial actions, Fell bundles and applications'' summarises the main important achievements from his mathematical works, specially with respect to theory of partial actions: he is, indeed, considered the Father of Partial Actions.
Happy Birthday Ruy! - Feliz Aniversário!