Thomas Anthony Tombrello, Caltech's Robert H. Goddard Professor of Physics, passed away on September 23, 2014, at age 78. His studies of nuclear reactions in the 1960s helped show how chemical elements are created.
Gerry Neugebauer, Caltech's Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Physics, Emeritus, passed away on September 26, 2014, of complications from spinocerebellar ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease. He was 82.
Frank Earl Marble (Eng '47, PhD '48), Caltech's Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus, was one of the fathers of modern jet engines.
Frederick Burtis Thompson, professor of applied philosophy and computer science, emeritus, passed away on May 27, 2014. The research that Thompson began in the 1960s helped pave the way for today's "expert systems" such as IBM's supercomputer Jeopardy! champ Watson and the interactive databases used in the medical profession. His work provided quick and easy access to the information stored in such systems by teaching the computer to understand human language, rather than forcing the casual user to learn a programming language.
Allen E. Puckett (PhD '49), the engineer who helped father the delta-winged airplane, the guided missile, and the communications satellite, and who turned Hughes Aircraft into the nation's top provider of radar systems and other defense-related electronics, passed away at age 94.