Saburo Muroga Died on December 9th, 2009 of pneumonia, as a complication of Parkinson's disease, in Oakland, California. Prof. Muroga was born on March 15, 1925 in Numazu, Japan. He graduated in 1947 from the University of Tokyo where he also received his Ph.D. in 1958. He worked as an electrical engineer for the Japan National Railway and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation until 1960. He received a Fulbright grant to study at MIT in 1953 and in 1954, visited University of Illinois to work at the Digital Computer Laboratory, using ILLIAC, one of the few large digital computers in the U.S. at that time. Upon returning to Japan, he directed the creation of Japan's first large-scale computer, MUSASINO-1. In 1960, Saburo joined the IBM research facility in Yorktown Heights, New York and in 1964 left industry for academia, joining the faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign where he taught as a professor of computer science and electrical engineering. He researched and published books on VLSI system design, threshold logic and switching theory. He retired in 2002, and in 2004 was honored by the Office of the Emperor at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, receiving the Order of the Sacred Treasure in recognition of his leadership in the field of information processing. In 2006, he and his wife, Yoko, moved to Oakland, California to be closer to their children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Yoko Muroga, his sons and daughter-in-law, Eisuke Muroga of San Francisco, Kenji Muroga and Julie Challis of London, his daughters and son-in-law, Lisa Branum of El Cerrito, Edith and Guy Morrow of Albany, California, and his grandchildren, Kaia and Nick Morrow. A private memorial service will be held at a later date in Japan. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Saburo Muroga Endowment Fund in Computer Science or Japan House Muroga Memorial Fund, with checks made payable to the University of Illinois Foundation. Please include in the memo on the check the following fund title: "Saburo Muroga Endowment Fund in Computer Science" or "Japan House Muroga Memorial Fund". Mail to: University of Illinois Foundation, 1305 West Green Street, MC-386,Urbana, IL 61801
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Published by San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 15, 2009.