In Memoriam: April 2011

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members.

7 April 2011

Cyril M. Harris
Acoustical engineer
Life Fellow, 93; died 4 January

Cyril M. Harris was responsible for the acoustic design of more than 100 concert halls, theaters, and auditoriums.

Harris began his career in the late 1940s as a research engineer for Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, N.J. There he helped develop a talking typewriter and researched room acoustics, sound absorption, and acoustic impedance. He left in 1952 to become a professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University in New York City. While at Columbia he began working on the acoustic design at the Metropolitan Opera in 1966. In the mid 1970s, he renovated the nearby Avery Fisher Hall. Harris preferred wood and plaster to the steel, glass, and concrete of modern concert halls.

He worked on numerous other concert halls, including the three theaters in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.; Powell Symphony Hall, in St. Louis; and the Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in Urbana, Ill.

In 1974 he was promoted to chairman of the architectural technology division in the graduate school of architecture and planning at Columbia University, a position he held until 1984. Most recently he worked on the acoustic design for the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall at the University of California, San Diego.

Harris earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1938 and a master's degree in physics in 1940, both from the University of California at Los Angeles. He received a Ph.D. in physics in 1945 from MIT.


Sid Deutsch
Professor of electrical engineering
Life Fellow, 92; died 8 January

Sid Deutsch was an electrical engineering professor and an active IEEE volunteer.

He became a professor of electrical engineering in 1954 at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, N.Y., and was an affiliate of Rockefeller University, in New York City, from 1961 to 1964. In 1972 he left the Polytechnic Institute to teach bioengineering at Rutgers Medical School, now known as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, in Piscataway, where he stayed until 1979. He also taught at Tel Aviv University from 1977 to 1983. He went on to work as a visiting professor at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, from 1983 until he retired in 1998.

From 1991 to 1996, Deutsch was associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He was a reviewer for IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine until last year.

Deutsch earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1941 from Cooper Union, in New York City, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1955 from the Polytechnic Institute.


Donald E. Troxel
Professor of electrical engineering and computer science
Life Senior Member, 76; died 18 January

Donald E. Troxel taught electrical engineering and computer science at MIT for 40 years.

He started off as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in 1962 and two years later became an assistant professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science. Troxel was promoted to full professor in 1985, a position he held until retiring in 2004. He was also principal investigator for the university's Research Laboratory of Electronics and the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

In 1969, he helped found Electronic Character Recognition Machinery Imaging Systems, a company in Tewksbury, Mass., that developed one of the first commercially successful optical character-recognition devices. In the mid-1970s, the company developed the Autokon, the first laser-based scanning camera, which became a standard for producing high-quality halftone images.

Troxel received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Rutgers University, in New Jersey. He earned a master's degree in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1962, both in electrical engineering, from MIT.

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