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Carlos H. Christensen ’55

A picture of Carlos Christensen

Carlos H. Christensen ’55, May 24, 2007, in Concord, Massachusetts. Carlos received a BA from Reed in physics. He combined his love of physics and music for his thesis, "The Vibrating Chain and the Harpsichord Problem." Throughout his life, he maintained a passion for both subjects. He attended the University of Illinois, where he gained an enthusiasm for computers in a course on programming the Iliac Computer. He was a computer scientist at Computer Associates in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and in 1967, he and his wife, Helen Willett Christensen, formed the consulting company Christensen and Willett Associates. They wrote technical manuals and developed software for 40 years. Carlos developed the computer language Ambit and other extensions. In his earlier years, he spent two years with the Army Ballistic Missile Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Under the direction of Wernher von Braun, his team launched the first U.S. satellite, joining Sputnik in the race to space. Carlos was also a humanist and an advocate for peace. Survivors include his wife, two sons and a daughter, a grandson, and a brother.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2007

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