1-26-2005 Faculty Senate Memorials
Submitted January 26, 2005 by Ajayan Pulickel
I certainly feel honored and humbled to give this
memorial to pay respect to late Henry Burlage Jr., class of 44. Perhaps his
kindness and love towards RPI has had the most direct impact on my academic
career as the first recipient of his kind endowment, the Henry Burlage Chair in
Engineering, which Henri endowed in his father’s name. As we salute him today
as one of the illustrious past member of our faculty, let us remember his achievements
and life, albeit briefly. Before he passed away, Henry had been retired for
several years after a great career as an educator, NASA administrator, and
consultant. He was an instructor and assistant professor in aeronautical
In remembering Henry, let us choose to remember the high standards and principles that led him to fulfill a successful career. Let us choose to remember his kindness and closeness to RPI. Let us honor him for his contributions to the engineering community and society and remember him as a friend. Let us hope that his blessings will be with us as we try to build and take RPI to the future. Thank you.
HENRY BURLAGE, JR. ’44
Delivered by Merrill Whitburn
David Carson was born in
Dave was commissioned as an officer and pilot in the United
States Air Force and resided in eight states and
As a fighter pilot, he flew the F-80, F-86, F-101, F-102,
F-106, and F-4. In the F-4, he flew 185
combat missions out of Danang Air Force Base in
In 1976, Dave retired from the Air Force to join the
technical communication program in the Department of Language, Literature, and
He assumed leadership roles in such national organizations as the NCTE Committee on Technical and Scientific Communication, the Society for Technical Communication, and the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. He consulted widely with industry, making significant contributions at Pratt & Whitney, Data General, Bell Labs, and Cahners Publishing. For many years, he edited the Baywood Series in Technical Communication and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. Among his honors were the Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Communication Award, Queensland Institute of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; Fellow, Association of Teachers of Technical Writing; and Associate Fellow, Society for Technical Communication.
He is survived by his wife, Louise; his daughter, Kathryn; his son David; his son Daniel.
Delivered by Professor Donald F. Vitaliano
Romesh K. Diwan, Emeritus Professor of Economics, died in
January 2004. Professor Diwan joined the
From the outset of his career at
Professor Diwan became Chairman of the Economics Department
in 1982, following the untimely death of Professor Edwin J. Holstein, a much
beloved colleague. It was Romesh who suggested that we jointly fund an economics
prize in honor of Professor Holstein which is given at Commencement. President
George Low strongly supported him as Chairman, and encouraged his efforts
to build up the department by funding the Vollmer Fries Lecture Series in
Economics. Dr Diwan used the money to bring world class economists, including
several Nobel Laureates, to
During the 1970's and 80's Professor Diwan began to meld his
technical economic ideas with the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, thus launching
an entirely new sub-area within economics known as Gandhian Economics. He was
founding chairperson of the still-active Association of Indian Economic
Studies, which held its first convention here in the Capital District in 1975. Diwan's
views, as expressed in numerous articles and several books helped shaped policy
I am pleased to announce that Professor Diwan's wife, Joyce, has generously endowed a lecture series in her husband's honor. The Economics Department plans to hold the first Romesh Diwan Memorial Lecture in the Fall of 2005.
Delivered by Mike O’Rourke
Mark Jordan, a retired captain in the U.S. Navy Civil
Engineer Corps (CEC) and former Dean of Continuing Education at
In 1963, after 26 years of service in the Navy, Mark
undertook a second career in academia.
Remarks by Prof Shep Salon
Dr Gerald Kliman of
Personally he was a delightful man. Always with a smile and
a kind word. He was positive, optimistic
and full of energy, Just about every day he would come into my office saying “I
have an idea about this or that” he was a problem solver. Jerry leaves behind
his wife Edith, two sons, Daniel and Jonathan, a brother Albert and many, many
friends. He will be missed.
A Eulogy by Joe Ecker and Mike Kupferschmid
The first thing that we should say is that Carl would never approve of this eulogy. In fact, we are sure that he would be disgusted by it. Carl did not approve of many things that most take for granted. For example, when Carl retired from RPI, he refused to attend a retirement dinner in his honor and so there was no such dinner. Well Carl, like it or not, we have some things to say.
Here is some background on Joe and Mike to put our remarks
in perspective. Carl Lemke is the reason
that Joe came to RPI in 1968 after hearing Carl give a seminar at the
Carl Lemke made many pioneering contributions in mathematics. In 1954, Carl invented the Dual Simplex Method for linear programming. In 1964, Carl discovered an ingenious algorithm for solving bi-matrix games and linear complementarity problems that is now called “Lemke’s Method”. In 1978, Carl and John Nash were awarded the John Von Neumann Theory Prize for their contributions to the theory of games. Carl was the first Ford Foundation Professor of Mathematics, a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, and was awarded the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award at RPI.
But to remember Carl only for his superb academic achievements would miss the true picture of the man. Here are some of our memories and stories that will help us all remember why Carl Lemke was such a unique individual.
Carl was born and raised in
When Carl was named the Ford Foundation Professor of Mathematics in 1967, he did not ask for an increase in pay or a nice discretionary fund, he only asked for an IBM electric typewriter. Carl would sit for hours typing up his course notes which were famous for their punctuation and abbreviations. Never before had any of us seen parentheses, brackets, exclamation points, semi-colons, colons, dashes, double and triple underscores, asterisks, and combinations of all the above in almost every sentence scattered with lots of abbreviations. Carl’s way of thinking and talking was similar to his way of typing.
Most people had extreme difficulty in understanding their conversations with Carl. Having a conversation with Carl was like standing in a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. It was sometimes uncomfortable but every now and then there was a lightning flash of brilliance.
One time, Dick DiPrima, as department Chair, had a conversation with Carl and upon leaving the room remarked to Joe, “I just had a one hour conversation with Carl and I didn’t understand a thing that we talked about”. Maybe Carl knew that conversations with him were difficult because he loved to watch the movie entitled “The Quiet Man” over and over again.
Carl’s classroom blackboard technique was unique. Often he would start on the right side (he did not write in Hebrew). After filling up a five foot panel with what he called chicken scratches, he would pick the biggest open space on the board and start in the middle and fill up another panel. Yes, these panels had all the punctuations and abbreviations that were found in his typing. When done with a panel, he would pick the biggest open space to the right or left and fill up another panel. He continued until there was no space left. Needless to say, students learned to never come late to class.
Carl loved to jog.
Now his jogging was at the pace of a walk but it looked like jogging in
slow motion. Even on his 5 and 6 mile
jogs he would count every step. Carl had
a dry sense of humor. For example, Carl
would enter a restaurant knowing full well that the soda TAB was not
served. He would ask the waitress for a
TAB. Upon hearing that no TAB was
available, Carl would say “ OK, make that a double dry
After retirement, Carl moved to
Carl was a mentor and friend to us and we will not forget him.
Delivered by Michael Halloran
June 23, 1952, Amy Perkins grew up at military bases scattered around the
world. She received BA and MA degrees at the
Amy taught a lot, and she taught very, very well. For five
years after completing her BA degree she taught high-school English, grades 9
through 12. During and after graduate school she taught at Rutgers, Purdue,
From one point of view, Amy Perkins was just one of a nationwide army of overworked and underpaid adjunct faculty members upon whom our colleges and universities rely to provide their students with a general education in the humanities. She belonged to that unfortunate minority who believe in teaching and humane scholarship as a vocation, believe in it with a conviction that makes them willing to accept conditions most of us would find unreasonable so long as they can pursue that vocation.
But Amy Perkins was a very special individual too. Colleagues remember the intensity and good humor that spilled out from the open door of her classroom. I always felt a twinge of envy when I passed her classroom and heard what was going on. Friends remember her hearty laugh, her kindness, her great devotion to her family, her ability to liven up a trip to a play or a movie with witty and insightful conversation. She saw life with clear eyes, and with the wit and generosity to laugh at much of what she saw.
Amy died on July 7, 2003, just two weeks beyond her 51st
birthday. Her children, Alexander and Glynnis, will remember her as a devoted
mother. Her husband, Alan Nadel, will remember her as a wife, lover, and
intellectual companion. Her former students will remember her as the teacher who
inspired in them a love of literature and language. The rest of us should
remember Amy Perkins as a teacher and scholar who gave far more to Rensselaer
Delivered by Jun Abrajano 1-26-2005
Professor Edward “Ted” Shuster ‘81, a Research
Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, died
Ted was an exceptional hydrogeologist, who broke new grounds
in the understanding of rivers and watersheds.
Ted was also an extraordinary teacher. He was a favorite among students and known for his extensive knowledge and his infectious lecturing style. One of Ted’s students, fondly recalled during his memorial service, how Ted “enticed” them with a free pizza if no one made any unit conversion mistake in the exams. Ted most recently taught Environmental Geology, Groundwater Hydrology, and One Mile of the Hudson. His enthusiasm for research on the
Ted was an alumnus of the institute twice over. He received a B.S. in geology from Rensselaer
in 1981, an M.S. in geology from
Ted was also an inspiring community leader. He volunteered much of his time to the Silver
Bay Association, a YMCA conference and training center in the
Life is but a moment. Ted lived his moment. He lived it fully, and he lived it well.