Robert F. McNaughton Jr.

  • "Prof. McNaughton --I never felt comfortable calling him..."
    - Bob McCloskey
  • "Dr. McNaughton was a true genius and a gentleman. I am..."
    - John Spagnuolo
  • "A wonderful human being, philosopher & scientist was Bob..."
    - Edwin Rogers
  • "My condolences. He was a very pleasant person and the..."
    - Ugur Dogrusoz
  • "Bob McNaughton was one of the first faculty members here at..."
    - John McDonald

McNaughton, Robert F. Jr. TROY Robert F. McNaughton Jr., 90, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Samaritan Hospital, after a brief illness. Robert was born and raised in Brooklyn, son of the late Robert and Helen McNaughton. After honorably serving his country in the United Sates Army during World War II, he graduated from Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard. He transitioned to the field of computer science in the 1950's and became a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science, authoring two textbooks and many research papers. He served as a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute until his retirement. In the course of his career he educated many students who became successful in the field. Robert believed strongly in civil liberties and human rights and gave both time and money towards improving them in the world. He and his wife made contributions to many charities, among which was the Friends of Chamber Music which he served as treasurer for many years. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Vivien Leonard McNaughton; and his grandson, Brian Deppa. He is survived by his children, Nick McNaughton and Sarah (Timothy) Deppa; grandchildren, Jeffrey and Lisa Deppa; brother-in-law, Dr. Edward (Clee) Leonard; and nephews, Eric and Douglas Leonard, and their families. He will be remembered for his warmth, kindness and sense of humor. He was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, colleague, teacher and friend. Services will be held on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel + Cultural Center, 2125 Burdett Ave., Troy. Interment to follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Waterford. Viewing hours will precede the service at the chapel from 9:30 until 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Friends of Chamber Music and Amnesty International in memory of Robert F. McNaughton. For online guest registry, please visit


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Published in Albany Times Union on June 8, 2014
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