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David Casseres ’65

August 29, 2019, in San Francisco, California, from complications of Parkinson’s disease and COPD.

David was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and grew up in Washington, D.C., Belgrade, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, and Los Angeles. He attended the California Institute of Technology before transferring to Reed, where he majored in literature and wrote his thesis, “Cicero,” advised by Prof. David Ray [English 1964–68].

Defending Reed against charges of ivory-tower intellectualism, he countered, “The greatest advances in human knowledge have come from ivory towers, and it is not true that a dis-involved scholar contributes nothing to the revolutionization of human culture. Much revolutionary thought begins in the tower and indeed could not begin elsewhere.”

After graduating, David worked as a technical writer at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, before beginning a 23-year career at Apple Inc. as a senior software engineer. He worked on the implementation of AppleSearch, a client-server information retrieval application, and established a project to make full-text searching a feature of the Macintosh OS. Using SearchKit, he also implemented an API for automatic summarization of text, which he presented at Mac World in San Francisco.

Following Apple, David worked as senior mobile director at Edmodo, an educational communications platform provider, developing their initial iPhone/iPad applications, which have been the most-downloaded iOS educational applications to date. David’s final contributions to the field he loved were as a software engineering author at Apple, from 2015 to 2018, when his illness no longer allowed him to work.

Outside of work, David wrote poetry and prose, sang and played guitar and flute, earned a pilot’s license and flew small planes, sailed the Pacific on a catamaran, learned several languages, and enjoyed cooking and baking bread. He is survived by his wife, Cheryle Oku; his daughter, Hanae Casseres; and his sister, Marisa Casseres Schaer ’65.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2019

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