FELIX HAAS

Obituary
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HAAS--Felix "Phil" 1921-2013. Provost Emeritus of Purdue University, passed away on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, surrounded by his family at his daughter's home in New York. Phil Haas was born on April 20, 1921, in Vienna, Austria. He emigrated in 1938 and served as General Patton's Artillery Sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received his PhD in mathematics in 1952 from M.I.T. While at MIT, he met and married Violet Bushwick, who also received a PhD in Mathematics from MIT. He subsequently held a series of academic appointments including Fine Instructor of Mathematics at Princeton University, Phil served Purdue for more than 40 years and became the first Dean of the School of Science after its creation in 1962. In that role, he recruited many scientists at the cutting edge of their fields, and launched the country's first computer science department. He then served as University Provost (1974-86). He felt privileged to work at a Land Grant Institution whose mission it was to give all students the opportunity to pursue higher education regardless of their economic backgrounds. After retiring as Provost, Phil returned to Purdue as the Arthur G, Hansen Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and taught for 15 more years (1987-2002). He did so pro-bono in exchange for a commitment from Purdue that his teaching would relieve the load of non-tenured female faculty members with young children. In 2006, Purdue renamed one of its two Computer Science buildings in honor of Felix Haas. He was pre-deceased by his beloved first wife, Violet. He is survived by his second wife, Margaret of Westfield, NJ, by his three children and their spouses, Richard (Ann Mitchell) of Shrewsbury, MA, Elizabeth (Steven Edersheim) of Scarsdale, NY, and David (Dana Stevens) of Westfield, NJ, and seven grandchildren, Derek, Brian (Yen-Hua Yu), Andrea, Jacob, Alvin, Claire, and Violet. Donations may be made in his name to the Felix Haas Memorial Fund, Purdue University.

Published in The New York Times on July 21, 2013
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