Bob Jewett’s double life
Bob Jewett (B.S.’75, M.S.’79 EECS) spent his undergraduate career — interrupted by a stint in the Air Force in Vietnam — and then his graduate studies at Berkeley. He built a distinguished career at Hewlett-Packard and its descendants, Agilent and Keysight, was awarded five patents in the area of signal generation and analysis and retired in 2015.
Jewett’s billiards skills blossomed during his graduate years, and he began seeking the best way to teach cue sports to others. Players aren’t born experts, and until the late 20th century, learning from pros was rare. Jewett describes most instruction as “Old Joe over in the corner at your local pool hall, who could show you some shots if you’d pay for his time at the table.”
His instructional output includes hundreds of articles and instructional videos. He’s the chief editor of the World Pool Billiards Association’s World Standardized Rules. “I’m pretty much into rules,” he says, while admitting that “most champions have never read them.”
Last April, Jewett competed at the 2016 U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship in Connecticut. While he didn’t take the top spot, he beat the U.S. champion 125 to 81.
Bob Jewett’s double life, master of pool and expert engineer, gives him access to a satisfaction denied many: scientific insight into a sport as only a virtuoso can grasp it.