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Harry Foster Smith Jr.

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HARRY FOSTER SMITH, JR. Harry Foster Smith, Jr. died October 1, 2015 in Wilmington. Harry was born on September 18, 1929 in Temperanceville, Virginia to Alma Ray Byrd and Harry Foster Smith. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City with degrees BS and MA, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1965. Over a period of 35 years he worked for IBM Research and in their Scientific Centers, notably in Palo Alto, CA. During his later years with IBM, he also taught at San Jose State University and at the University of California Santa Cruz. Upon retiring from IBM in 1987, he came to the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, where he introduced and taught courses in Computer Science and occasionally Mathematics until 2005. His primary areas were Data Structures (where he authored an 800 page graduate level text on the subject), computer graphics, parallel computing, and fractals and chaos theory. For the academic year 1966/1967 Harry was a Fulbright senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Madrid. From his long professional involvement with the ACM computer graphics community, he supervised the selection and presentation of 46 full-day courses at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference in 1998. In 2006 he served for three months as a volunteer with the Cross Cultural Solutions program in Yaroslavl in Russia, working with orphanage activities. Harry is survived by eight children from two marriages: Elizabeth Clare Smith of Sausalito CA, Jennifer Bligh Smith of Bellevue WA, Harry Foster Smith Ill of Severna Park MD, Pamela Byrd Jeung of Redwood City CA, Edwin Malachy Smith of San Jose CA, Andrea Patricia Quenneville of Redmond WA, Abigail Christine Smith in New Zealand, and Kendrick Nelson Smith of Wilmington NC and seven grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Church of the Servant Episcopal, 4925 Oriole Drive, Wilmington, NC on Saturday, October 17th at 12pm with a reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances of Harry to Church of the Servant.
Published in the Wilmington Star-News on Oct. 14, 2015
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