Dr. Carr, Pioneer in Computer Education

Dr. John Weber Carr, III, professor emeritus of computer and information science, died on April 8 at the age of 73.

Dr. Carr, a pioneer in computer education in the U.S. and one of its chief missionaries abroad, began in electrical engineering, earning his bachelor's degree from Duke in 1943 and serving as electronics officer aboard the aircraft carrier Boxer during War II. He resumed his education with a master's from MIT in 1949 and took his Ph.D. there in mathematics in 1951. From 1953-57, he was an associate professor at Michigan--teaching the first computer applications courses there--and supervised operations and software of MIDAC at Michigan's Willow Run Research Center. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill from 1957 to 1962, he was professor of mathematics and director of the Research Computation Center.

In 1963 he came to Penn, where he was to teach and research programming languages, problem solving, learning theories and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) design. The multilingual Dr. Carr was a visiting professor at the Mathematisch Centrum in Amsterdam and at the University of Sydney, and lectured in the Soviet Union and China, becoming adjunct professor of computer science at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. He took the first personal computer to China, and later in his career he installed the computer laboratory and curriculum for the Egyptian Air Force Academy. Dr. Carr was named emeritus professor in 1993.

The president of the Association for Computing Machinery from 1958-60, Dr. Carr was awarded that group's Distinguished Service Award in 1975. He was also a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa.Consultant to numerous major corporations, he was the founding editor of Computing Reviews and was the editor of the Journal of Computer Languages.

Dr. Carr is survived by his wife Esther Keenan Carr, his son Alan and daughters Catherine and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren. A memorial service was held on campus, Saturday, April 12. Contributions in Dr. Carr's memory may be made to Community Legal Services, 1424 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or to Jefferson Hospice, Bryn Mawr Hospital, 130 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Gerhard Building, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Edwina Briggs: Part of Penn Women's History

Edwina Lowe Briggs, who in the words of Dean Althea Kratz Hottel "dispensed tea and sympathy to generations of college women," died on March 31 at the age of 89.

Mrs. Briggs was at Penn from 1931 to 1973, spending 38 of those years as the assistant to the director of the Bennett Club of Women's Activities. One of her duties was operating the Bennett Club snack bar, a fourth-floor eating place in Bennett Hall in the days when Bennett was the home of the College for Women and when the University's only dining service, in Houston Hall, was for men only. Ms. Briggs also provided support, comfort and motherly love, recalled a member of CW at a reception given in her honor during the Class of 46's 40th reunion. An image remembered: Mrs. Briggs tucking a blanket over a student who had slumped on a couch in Bennett Hall, exhausted by final exams.

For several decades Mrs. Briggs also catered monthly luncheons of the Women's Faculty Club (now Association of Women Faculty and Administrators), and numerous alumni/ae events.

Ms. Briggs is survived by her husband, George; her sister, Mary Brown; her nephews, William and John Brown; and the CW alumnae family whom she had worked with through the years.


Volume 43 Number 30
April 15, 1997

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