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remembering jean delord
From Bob Ricks ’58

Jean Delord was my senior year physics professor and hired me to do solid state physics work at Tektronix when he was their director of research. These two reasons alone would justify my saying he had a major impact upon my life. Jean, however, was more than a teacher, physicist, and manager. Others have discussed his interests in worldwide concerns from World War II through the end of the twentieth century. I would like to share a more personal example of the pleasure he took in the romantic outlook instilled during his youth in France. At one point, while Jean was director of research at Tektronix, a production group was being given eye exams in the library. Jean saw that the examiner was an attractive summer student. His instruction to me was to wait until the other group departed and then go get my eyes checked. She and I had a discussion about why I was not on her list to have an eye exam and if she needed a ride home after work. In subsequent years there was a twinkle in Jean’s eyes as he told my wife that he claimed credit for the matchmaking that resulted in our marriage in 1961.

From Fred Rogers ’66

I was very saddened to read about the passing of Jean Delord. Jean was my thesis adviser, a task at which he labored with consistent good humor and patience. He supported and inspired me through the process of producing a work of some modest usefulness, and in doing so proved yet again that a very good instructor can get results out of even the least promising of students. February’s Reed arrived, by coincidence, on a day after I happened to look back at Carter Weiss’s 1965 Griffin. I had turned again at the peace demonstration photos from the winter of ’64–’65, and thought, gosh, here we go again. I then remembered that Jean Delord was the first faculty member that I happened to notice in attendance at a peace demonstration (probably one of those shown in that Griffin). I remembered being struck by his typical composure, and being impressed that he was there along with a bunch of motley students. But how characteristic that was of a man who had lived in occupied France, resisted the Nazis, and then lived through the disastrous French adventure in Indochina and never forgot its lessons. I suspect that everyone who knew Jean Delord soon realized that he was an extraordinary citizen of the world as well as a fine scholar. He was a good and gifted man. I wish I’d told him so while I still had the opportunity.

From Eileen Reierson MAT ’69

I have always been intimidated by the thought of making pie crust, so I enrolled in the recent alumni board-sponsored pie crust class taught by Johanna Colgrove ’92. A wonderfully disparate group—male and female, aged over eighty to under one—took part. By mistake I arrived at the classroom an hour early, so I whiled away the time by writing a few pie crust haiku:

An hour early,
I’ll watch the yellow leaves fall
And listen to the brook.
The rain drips and drips and drips.
I hope it won’t
Make my pie crust soggy.
Too old to master pie crust,
But I’ll bake
An apple pie for Francis.
In an empty room
At Reed.
The ghost of Lloyd Reynolds
Joins me.
Creek, logs, trees—
Still here.
How many years ago
Did my sons play Tom Sawyer?

The class was really fun. All the pies looked beautiful, but my crust was still rather tough, alas.

computing history revealed

From Robert Reynolds (honorary alumnus ’02)

I anticipate an interesting flurry of response to the quote of my friend Martin Ringle that “Reed first became involved with computing in 1968 (when an analog computer figured in a senior thesis)” in the February 2003 issue of Reed.

I’ll contribute my bit by mentioning that Joel Allen Salon’s 1965 physics thesis Approximate Solutions to Radial Distribution Functions of Gaseous Systems made extensive use of Reed’s then-mainframe, an IBM 1620 that did not want for academic use.

Further, Dennis Hoffman introduced systematic instruction in FORTRAN to the sophomore physics laboratories in academic year 1964-65.

From Bart Jones ’65

Interesting article by Kate Hobbie about Reed’s use of IT. She quotes Marty Ringle: “Reed first became involved with computing in 1968.” Actually it was at least three years earlier. In 1964–65 an IBM 1620 was installed in Eliot basement. Professor Alfred Bork taught elementary FORTRAN programming to all of us in Nat Sci 110, for numerical integration of orbit equations. This was very early days for the use of computers in physics. Bork published at least one paper on the subject, and I believe he left Reed soon after for a position where he could specialize in it.

That same IBM 1620 provided Peter Norton ’65 his first crack at writing programming tools, leading to his later widespread Norton Utilities.

image of reed
From Rudolf Wagner ’52

Whenever I introduce myself as a Reed graduate I get very mixed impressions. When I am back East attending some function and I mention that I went to Reed, I hear ahs, and I’m bestowed with much pleasing recognition. Yet, when I’m in Portland the reaction is quite negative. Only three months ago I received a call from a person in Lake Oswego. As we got into conversation I let it be known that I attended Reed. Immediately this person let me know that he holds Reed in low regard. I asked him why and he mentioned that there was a student at Reed in the 1920s who went to the Soviet Union full of enthusiasm for communism and then returned completely demoralized and disappointed with what he experienced there. I just can’t understand why such a fine educational institution as Reed should carry forever a black mark in the Portland area.

End of Article
Reed Magazine February 2003