Professor Clauser Passes Away
Francis H. Clauser, Clark Blanchard Millikan Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on Sunday, March 3, at 99 years of age. Professor Clauser, a Caltech alumnus (PhD '37), served as Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science from 1969 to 1974. Upon stepping down as Chair he remained the Millikan Professor until his retirement. Although he retired in 1980, he maintained a vital presence on the Caltech campus, particularly at the Athenaeum round table, until shortly before he passed. [Caltech Release]
First Person to Dig on the Moon
Among the souvenirs collected by astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean on their trip to the moon aboard Apollo 12 Lunar Excursion Module was the metal scoop that Ronald Scott, Caltech Professor of Civil Engineering, had used to verify that a moon landing could be made in the first place. [Caltech Release]
Alumnus Receives 2012 Simons Graduate Fellowships in Theoretical Computer Science
Christopher Beck (BS '09 Computer Science and Mathematics) is a recipient of a 2012 Simons Graduate Fellowship. The fellowships are given to graduate students in theoretical computer science with outstanding track records of research accomplishments. Beck’s work seeks to establish the limits of how efficiently we can solve computational problems. One of his papers studies a popular class of algorithms known as SAT solvers and shows that if their memory is restricted, then they can require exponential running time. Another result concerns how well we can approximately sample from certain distributions when our computation must be small depth, that is, highly parallelizable. Beck and his co-authors showed that even exponentially large bounded depth circuits cannot sample with even exponentially small success from a certain simple distribution.
A "Gifted" Professor
Twenty former PhD and graduate student advisees of Frank E. Marble, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus, have joined together to honor and thank their mentor by creating the Frank and Ora Lee Marble Endowed Professorship. Chair Ares Rosakis, remarks, “Inspirational teachers and researchers like Frank Marble and his adviser Theodore von Kármán create new schools of thought which nurture generation after generation of academics. It is this long term commitment to education and research that helps the Engineering and Applied Science Division and Caltech maintain their number one position in the recently announced world university rankings." [Learn More]
Frank E. Marble
Professor Martel Passes Away
Hardy C. Martel, Professor of Electrical Engineering, emeritus, passed away on March 29 at his home in Altadena. He was 85. "He was one of the first at Caltech to do research on information science and communications technology," says Roy Gould, the Simon Ramo Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, a lifelong friend and colleague of Martel. "His strength was in his basic, intuitive grasp of ideas and how things worked." [Caltech Feature] [E&S Article in pdf]
EAS Remembers Thad Vreeland Jr.
Thad Vreeland Jr., Professor of Materials Science, Emeritus, passed away on August 9th, 2010. "Thad was a great scientist and he interacted well with various researchers and engineers across campus," says Ares Rosakis, the Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, "particularly with the solid mechanics group associated both with aeronautics and mechanical engineering." [Caltech Press Release]
Thad Vreeland Jr.