1925 - 2020
Edward P. Neuburg died of natural causes on May 23rd at Morris Hall Meadows nursing home in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Ned Neuburg was born in 1925 in Larchmont, New York. He attended the Fieldston School and Swarthmore College. After serving in the US Navy during World War II, he was graduated from Swarthmore with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1948, and in 1950 married classmate Helen ("Greenie") Green. He obtained a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and taught for a year at the University of Vermont. He had begun work on a PhD at Harvard University when he was called back into service for the Korean War; as a result, he was eventually sent to Washington, D.C., where he became a cryptanalyst and computer programmer at the Naval Security Station. This later became the National Security Agency, where Ned remained, raising a family in the Washington metropolitan area, with stints at GCHQ in Cheltenham, England, and at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, NJ. He retired from the NSA in 1988, and returned to IDA, working as a consultant and adjunct until 2013.
His titles at the NSA included Chief of Mathematical Research, Chief of Speech Research, Deputy Chief of Research, Chief of Research, and Scientific Advisor. In 1980 he received the Exceptional Civilian Service Award from the Department of Defense. He published many papers in technical journals, was involved in administering the ARPA funding that led to the first successful computer speech recognition programs, and created the first computer algorithm for changing the rate of a sound without changing the pitch.
Ned Neuburg was a man of many parts. He could learn a language; hook a rug; cane a chair; lay a brick path; build a stone retaining wall; transplant a shrub; mow a meadow; do all kinds of electric wiring, plumbing, auto repair, carpentry, and woodworking (his basement "shop" contained an astounding array of hand and power tools); solve the most difficult British cryptic crosswords; play the violin, as well as the classical guitar; act; sing (including, from memory and with complete accuracy, most of Gilbert and Sullivan); dance a waltz; cook an omelette, a crêpe, a Chinese meal, or anything on the outdoor grill.
Ned was a dedicated family man, throwing himself enthusiastically into the lives of his wife and children, as well as involving them in the things he liked to do. He was fond of skiing, hiking, camping, canoeing, sailing, reading, eating just about anything, playing chamber music with family and friends, playing squash (he kept this up until he was 80), watching TV sports with the sound turned off, opera, arguing (he was Autocrat of the Dinner Table), family games, laughing (often a result of the foregoing), and sipping single malt scotch before bed.
Ned Neuburg is survived by his wife, Greenie; by his two sons, Matthew and Ethan; by his daughter, Amy; and by his grandson, Nicholas.
Published in New York Times from Jun. 4 to Jun. 5, 2020.