In Memoriam

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Richard E. Warren ’55

Richard Earl Warren ’55, February 2, 2003, of heart failure, in Portland. Richard attended Reed and completed his undergraduate degree at USC. His graduate studies were accomplished at the University of Virginia and Harvard College. His research work initiated with the founders of cybernetics, and he was highly recognized for his work in artificial intelligence. Throughout his career, he was said to have challenged convention, encouraging his students and colleagues to move past the traditional boundaries of academic disciplines. Richard was a pioneer in the design of fault-tolerant computer systems in the ’60s, a technology utilized by banks and industry. At MIT in the seventies, his research center developed specialized tools for those with disabilities, and he was repeatedly acknowledged as the most popular teacher. His biomedical and technological research had a far reaching effect on small high-tech companies, including some in the Pacific Northwest, and on such achievements as the guidance system design for the Apollo moon landing. Richard was characterized as a Renaissance man—inspiring a great audience of individuals with his musical talent, mechanical ability, electronic and computer savvy, and navigational and sailing skills. He was a pacifist, a proponent of respect and human dignity, and a philosopher, who proposed that plants, especially single-celled organisms, function collectively to create "the mind of earth." Richard married twice and had three children who survived him, including Bradley Clark Warren ’82. Survivors also include his grandson and mother, and his companion, Kashala Hill.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2003

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