Farewell

Elwyn Berlekamp, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences and of mathematics, died in April at the age of 78. He was internationally renowned for his work in mathematics, coding theory and game theory. In the early 1970s, he founded Cyclotomics, a firm that developed error-correcting codes that were used by NASA for space communications. He later branched out into cryptography and the financial market, as well as the theory of combinatorial games. He was the author of seminal book Algebraic Coding Theory, held more than a dozen patents and was a member of the National Academy of
Engineering and the National
Academy of Sciences.

Sally Floyd (M.S.’87, Ph.D.’89 CS) died in August at the age of 69. Known for her work on congestion control, she was one of the inventors of Random Early Detection, an algorithm used to manage internet traffic during times of overload. Following graduation, she joined the Network Research Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, then worked as a research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute.

Victor Gretzinger Jr. (B.S.’44 CE) died in May at the age of 94. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then spent much of his career in California’s gold country, where he ran his own engineering business. He later moved to Alaska, working in Anchorage and then as public works director in Palmer.

Jean Paul Jacob (M.S.’65, Ph.D.’66 EECS) died in April at the age of 82. An acclaimed expert on informatics, he was the first founding member of CITRIS as well as a faculty-in-residence at the Department of Electrical Engineering
and Computer Sciences since 1971. He also had a 42-year career at IBM, where he was instrumental in creating scientific centers around the globe. He received Berkeley’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in Computer Science and Engineering and the University of California’s Research Leadership Award.

Kenneth King (B.S.’58 CE) died in July at the age of 83. He worked as a civil engineer for 50 years, designing water recreation areas at Disneyland, Wild Rivers and Raging Waters.

John Lindblad (B.S.’52 Agricultural Eng.) died in July at the age of 88. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he embarked on a career in public service. He worked as an engineer for the Napa County Public Works Department, then as the public works director for the city of Napa for 28 years. After retirement, he consulted on a system to relieve downtown Napa from frequent flooding.

Carol Major (B.S.’13 BioE) died in August at the age of 28. She was a technical program manager at Apple and had previously worked at St. Jude Medical.

Robert “Bob” Matthews (B.S.’49 ME) died in May at the age of 95. After serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, he completed his degree and began a wide-ranging career that culminated in the founding of SeaTel, a leading marine satellite antenna firm. An avid Berkeley supporter, he funded numerous scholarships for undergraduate engineering students with financial need.

Charles “Chuck” McIlvain (B.S.’97 EES) died in September at the age of 44. A visual effects designer, he was known for his work on movies, including Watchmen, Spider-Man and Green Lantern. He was working at Netflix and had previously been employed at Walt Disney Imagineering and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Povindar Kumar Mehta (D.Eng.’64 MSE/Mineral Eng.), professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, died in August at the age of 88. A faculty member from 1963–93, he was a world-renowned expert in sustainable concrete and cement manufacturing. He received many prestigious awards over the course of his career, including the Berkeley Citation, one of the university’s highest honors.

Jerome Singer, professor emeritus in the electrical engineering and computer sciences and the biophysics departments at Berkeley, as well as of radiology at UCSF, died in July at the age of 97. His research centered on quantum electronics and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and with his graduate students, he was credited with developing and constructing the first practicable MRI apparatus. He was also a prolific inventor and entrepreneur — having more than 20 patents, including two for MRI technology — and was the founder or co-founder of eight technology companies.

Wei Tan (MEng’19 IEOR) died in September at the age of 26. She had recently launched her career as a data scientist at Evidation Health.

Colin Um, a mechanical engineering and chemical engineering undergraduate student, died in June at the age of 22. He had worked as a researcher in the Berkeley Biomechanics Laboratory, where he performed computational studies of spinal discs.

Raymond Wong (B.S.’50 CE) died in January at the age of 91. He worked for the California Department of Transportation in San Jose before serving in the Korean War, and then at the Department of Water Resources for 37 years.


Topics: Faculty, Alumni


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