Ku | Dr.
Makdisi | Dr.
Ando | Memorial
Service: Dr. Knight | Clarification:
Ku, Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Yu-Hsiu Ku, emeritus professor of electrical and systems engineering,
a renowned educator, scientist, author and poet, died on September
9 in Oklahoma City due to complications from pneumonia. He was
Ku was born on December 24, 1902 in Wushi, Jiangsu Province, China.
He entered the Tsing Hua School in Beijing, China at the age of
thirteen. After graduating from Tsing Hua School, (later named
National Tsinghua University) he received a special scholarship
to study electrical engineering at MIT.
MIT from 1923-28, he was awarded the Bachelor, Master and Doctor
of Science degrees in electrical engineering. He completed all
three degrees in three and on-half years, a record at the time,
and also had the unique distinction of being the first Chinese
to be awarded a doctoral of science degree (ScD) from MIT. Two
of his advisors at Harvard were Nobel laureate P.W. Bridgmen and
philosopher A.N. Whitehead.
to China in 1928, he became professor and chair of the Department
of Engineering, Zhejiang University (1929-30); dean, National
Central University (1931-32); chair of Electrical Engineering
and Founding Dean of Engineering of Tsinghua University (1932-37).
He was also director of the Aeronautic Research Institute, China
(1934-37) and director of the first Electronics Research Institute,
China (1935-37). During the war against Japan, he was Principal
Deputy Minister of Education (1938-44) and president of China's
National Central University (1944-45).
Ku was the Education Commissioner of the Shanghai Municipal Government
(1945-47). During this period, he was an adjunct professor and
taught electrical engineering courses at the National Jiaotong
University in Shanghai. It was at that university that the current
President of the People's Republic of China was one of his
students and they started a unique life-long relationship which
had a significant impact on US-China and China-Taiwan cross-strait
relationships. From 1947-49, he was the president of National
Chengchi University in Nanjing. Prior to his tenure, President
Chiang Kaishek himself was the only one to occupy that position.
1950, he left China and was visiting professor of electrical engineering
at MIT from 1950-52. In 1952 he joined the faculty of the Moore
School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania,
where he was professor of electrical engineering until 1972 when
was his unique relationships with top leaders of both the Republic
of China and the People's Republic of China over several
decades that led to remarkable developments which directly impacted
both US-China and China-Taiwan relationships. Examples include
the US-China Hainan incident and direct and confidential contacts
with President Jiang of PRC and President Chen of Taiwan.
was an internationally recognized authority and made major technical
contributions in the areas of electrical energy conversion, nonlinear
systems and the theory of nonlinear control. In recognition of
his scientific achievements, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineering (IEEE) awarded to him the prestigious IEEE Lamme Medal
in 1972. In 2000 at the age of 98, he was awarded the IEEE Third
Ku was on of the last polymaths. He made technical contributions
in areas as diverse as electrical machinery, Liapunov methods
and Volterra equations for nonlinear mechanics and nonlinear control,
and boundary-layer heat transfer. Additionally, Dr. Ku....served
as president of China's National Music Conservatory. ...We
should be proud that he is a part of Penn Engineering's history,'
said SEAS Dean Glandt.
is also a renowned writer, playwright
poet. Twelve volumes of his collected literary works were published
in 1961, followed by eight volumes of poems. At his retirement
from Penn 1972, he was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in
Literature and Humanities.
is survived by his wife of 70 years, Wei-Zing Wang Ku, and his
sons, Wei-Quing, Walter Wei-Hua, EE '57, John Wei-Chung,
and his daughter, Anna Wei-Ming, CW '67MArch '69, a
niece, Deborah Ku Farce, Wh '85, and 14 grandchildren and
Makdisi, Emeritus Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies
George M. Makdisi, emeritus professor of Arabic & Islamic
Studies in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern (formerly
Oriental) Studies, died at his home in Media on September 6 at
the age of 82.
Makdisi was born in Detroit in 1920. Following an early educational
career in both the United States and Lebanon, Dr. Makdisi pursued
graduate studies in France where he obtained the degree of Docteur
es-Lettres at the Sorbonne in 1964. He taught at both the University
of Michigan and Harvard before coming to Penn as professor of
Arabic in 1973. He continued to teach Arabic and Islamic Studies
until his retirement in 1990. During that period he served as
chair of the department of Oriental Studies, and convened a series
of conferences with his academic colleagues in Europe that were
aimed at bringing together American and European research on the
Arab-Islamic and Byzantine worlds during the medieval period.
Makdisi is generally acknowledged on a worldwide scale as one
of the greatest Arabists and Islamicists of his generation. His
greatest interest was in the study of Arabic texts from the great
classical age of Islamic thought, and that was also the focus
of his teaching. The large number of his distinguished students
who hold academic positions in both the United States and Europe
bear witness to the inspiration that his scholarly example provided
to so many.
Makdisi's publications began by focusing on the intellectual
environment within which theological controversies were discussed
within the Muslim community and especially on the work of Ibn
Aql, to whose work, Al-Wadih, Dr. Makdisi devoted much
attention during the earlier stages of his career and to which
he returned after retirement in order to prepare the text for
publication (Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 3 volumes).
the broader realm of medieval studies, one where he played a crucial
role in insisting on an increased awareness of the role of Arab-Islamic
culture among his more Euro-centric colleagues, Dr. Makdisi contributed
a number of crucially important works, prime among which were
his two volumes, The Rise of Colleges (1981) and The
Rise of Humanism (1990).
Makdisi is survived by his wife, Nicole; sons, John and Thomas;
daughters, Catherine Viscusi, Theresa Walsh, Ann Mazur and Jeanne
Makdisi; sister, Mary Fayad; ten grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
memorial event for Dr. Makdisi will be held at Penn, on a date
to be announced.
Albert Ando of SAS
was learned at press time that Dr. Albert Ando, professor of economics
in SAS and finance at Wharton, died on September 19, at the age
of 72. His obituary will appear in the next issue of Almanac.
Service: Dr. Knight
School of Veterinary Medicine will hold a Celebration of Life
Memorial Service for Dr. David Knight on Thursday, September
26 at 3 p.m. in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall. The University
community is invited to attend.
Knight, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine, died at the
age of 64, of a heart attack on July 15 (Almanac
obituary in last week's Almanac,
for Frederic H. Shaffmaster, former long-time director of Radio
and TV should have noted that he had been known at Penn as Fred
Harper, although he used Frederic Shaffmaster for his stage name.
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