Roy Lee Adler

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  • "WE talked about dynamics, symbolic and smooth, for over..."
    - Bob Williams
  • - Bob Williams
  • "Sincere condolences for the loss of a wonderful colleague..."
    - Ruth Brayton
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  • "I owe so much to Roy. His guidance in both professional..."
    - Brian Marcus
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1931 - 2016
Roy Lee Adler (85) died on July 26 at his home in Chappaqua, NY. Dr. Adler (Ph.D., Yale 1961), a longtime employee of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, was a fellow of the New York Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Mathematical Society. Among his seminal scientific achievements are the invention of topological entropy, Markov partitions for invertible maps and the application of symbolic dynamics to coding problems in information theory.

Dr. Adler's interest in the theorems of ergodic theory and dynamical systems led him to develop an algorithm to design codes to meet the constraints for data storage and transmission channels. A paper, including co-authors Don Coppersmith and Martin Hassner, documenting these developments won the IEEE, Information Theory Group 1985 Best Paper prize. Dr. Adler was awarded a Fourth Plateau Invention Achievement award, two IBM Research Outstanding Innovation awards, an Outstanding Technical Achievement award and the 2000 Research Patent Portfolio award.

He was a contributor to more than 60 publications and 10 patents on coding, printing, spine modeling, x-ray data acquisition and cryptography. He was also a caring and inspiring mentor to several young mathematicians. An intellectual with a sharp and dry wit, his passions included great food, opera, fishing, good friends, and most of all his family. Roy was married to the former Audrey Wanner who predeceased him in 1990 and then to Judith Hershaft who survives him. He was a dedicated and adoring father to his two children, Caroline Kosaka (Palo Alto, CA) and Michael Adler (Longmont, CO). Roy's love and affection continued to his stepchildren, Laura Hershaft Saltman (Athens, OH) and Stephen Hershaft (Rye Brook, NY) and nine grandchildren (Daniel, Jonathan, Nathan, Audrey, Bari, Anna, Brian, Adam and Jason).

Donations in memory of Roy be made to:
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Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home, Inc.
288 East Main ST
Mount Kisco, NY 10549-3014
(914) 666-4840
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Published in The New York Times from July 29 to Aug. 1, 2016