In Memoriam: May 2016

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

30 May 2016

Edward McCluskey

EE professor

Life Fellow, 86; died 13 February

McCluskey was professor emeritus at Stanford, where he made several pioneering contributions to computer science.

He began his career in 1955 as an intern at MIT, where he developed the Quine-McCluskey algorithm with Willard Van Orman Quine, a logician at Harvard. The algorithm paved the way for the automated design of complex chips. McCluskey then joined Bell Labs (located at the time in Holmdel, N.J.), where he worked on electronic switching systems.

He left Bell Labs in 1959 to become an associate professor of electrical engineering at Princeton, where he helped establish the university’s first Center for Computing. He left in 1966 to become an EE professor at Stanford, where he founded the university’s Digital Systems Laboratory. In 1970 he helped establish Stanford’s first computer engineering program. He was founder and director of the university’s Center for Reliable Computing, where he helped design fault-tolerant systems to prevent computers from crashing. In 1968 he helped found the Stanford Computer Forum, a group that fosters collaboration between academia and industry, and served as its director until 1978.

He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1965 “for contributions to switching theory and engineering education.”

McCluskey served as the IEEE Computer Society’s first president, in 1970. He was presented with the 1996 IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award “for pioneering and fundamental contributions to design automation and fault tolerant computing.” He received the 2012 IEEE John von Neumann Medal “for providing the foundation for the design automation methods that make production of today’s complex computer chips possible.”

He received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics in 1953 from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, then earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1956 from MIT.

Lynn Andrews Gibson


Member, 59; died 16 February

Gibson was an engineer at HP, in Corvallis, Ore. She died of multiple sclerosis.

She began her career at Hughes Aircraft Co., in Manhattan Beach, Calif. She then joined Airco Temescal, a semiconductor company in Livermore, Calif. At HP, she developed thermal inkjet printers. She retired in 2000.

Gibson received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1981 from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1986 from the University of California, Berkeley.

David C. Blackburn Jr.

Power engineer

Life Senior Member, 80; died 7 March

Blackburn was a power engineer at the Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporate agency of the U.S. government that provides flood-control and electricity-generation services.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard before joining the TVA, where he spent 30 years designing power system protection and control systems.

A member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, Blackburn received its 1994 IEEE Outstanding Power Engineer Award. He was also a member of the IEEE Standards Association.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Chittoor V. Ramamoorthy

EE professor

Life Fellow, 89; died 9 March

Ramamoorthy was professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

Before joining UC Berkeley, he was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. He went on to become chair of the computer science department and a senior research fellow at the university’s IC² Institute. Founded in 1977, the institute brings together leaders in industry, academia, and government to advance the development of new technologies and startups.

Ramamoorthy later joined UC Berkeley as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. He published more than 200 papers and co-edited two books, the Handbook of Software Engineering (Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1984) and Computers for Artificial Intelligence Processing (John Wiley and Sons, 1990).

Elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1978 “for contributions to computer architecture and software engineering,” he received several IEEE awards including the 2003 Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award and the IEEE Computer Society’s 2000 Tsutomu Kanai Award.

Ramamoorthy earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and textile technology from the University of Madras, India, then earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard. He later received doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from Harvard.

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