Ralph E. Griswold

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  • "Hi Madge. I was shocked to see Ralph's passing when I was..."
    - Angela Sivilli
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GRISWOLD, Ralph E., Regents Professor Emeritus, Department of Computer Science at The University of Arizona, died October 4, 2006 at St. Joseph's Hospital, Tucson. The cause of death was complications from pancreatic cancer. Dr. Griswold was born on May 19, 1934 in Modesto, California, the son of Gale Charles Griswold and Dorothy Evelyn Jones Griswold. He received his BS degree in Physics with Great Distinction from Stanford University in 1956, followed by an MS in Electrical Engineering in 1960 and a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1962, also from Stanford University. From 1962 until 1971 Dr. Griswold was associated with Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, where he headed the Programming Language Research Group. During his tenure there he was responsible for the design and implementation of the SNOBOL programming languages, culminating in SNOBOL4, a general-purpose programming language designed for manipulating strings of characters. In 1971 Dr. Griswold was bought to The University of Arizona to form the Department of Computer Science. He served as head of the department from the early 1970s until 1981. His areas of research and development included the Icon programming language, designed for high-level general-purpose programming problems involving manipulation of strings of characters. He retired from the university in 1997. Dr. Griswold was the author of numerous books and articles in the field of computer science. After his retirement his research interests turned to the mathematical aspects of weaving and he became well-known in the weaving community for a large database and web site related to weaving. He dedicated much of his work to preserving old weaving drafts, the actual instructions for weaving designs. He is survived by his wife, Madge Turner Griswold; a son, William Gale Griswold (Maureen Feeley) of San Diego, California; a daughter, Rebecca Griswold Reid (Brian) of Coupeville, Washington and four grandchildren. In accordance with Dr. Griswold's wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service. The family will receive friends at home Saturday afternoon, October 7, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a charity of choice.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Oct. 5, 2006
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