In Memoriam: David Fox

David Fox, a distinguished researcher and teacher who served the University of Minnesota’s computer science & engineering (CS&E) department for 14 years, died August 23, 2006. He was 77 years old.

Fox received his bachelor’s degree in physics in 1951 and his master’s of science in engineering and mechanics in 1952 from the University of Michigan. He earned his doctorate degree in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1958.

Fox worked at Johns Hopkins University as a mathematician, professor and served as head and principal professional staff of the Research Group in Applied Mathematics. He also served as the director of Mathematical and Informational Sciences at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research before coming to the U of M. Fox was awarded a Washington Academy of Sciences Achievement Award in Mathematics in 1964 and was awarded the Parsons Professorship at Johns Hopkins University in 1976.

Fox came to the U of M in 1985 and was a member of the faculty until 1999, serving as the CS&E department head from 1985-1990. Fox retired in 1999 to pursue other interests, including his hobby of flying. He divided his time between his residence in South Carolina and a summer home in Michigan.

In his time at the U of M, Fox served on many committees and taught a variety of courses, including eigenvalue problems and Discrete Structures of Computer Science. Fox pioneered the method of intermediate eigenvalue problems for linear operations of Hilbert spaces. In addition to his academic work, he was an energetic recruiter and facilitated the rapid growth of the CS&E department.