In Memoriam: J. Ben Rosen

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering lost one of the founders of the department and a pioneer in the field of large-scale numerical optimization. On April 28, 2009, Professor Emeritus J. Ben Rosen passed away at his residence in San Diego. He was 86.

Rosen was recruited to head the newly-formed Department of Computer Science, arriving in 1971, the second year of the department's existence. At the time, his achievements were already substantial, including work on the Manhattan Project and founding and Chairing the Computer Science department at the University of Wisconsin. He served as department head at Minnesota through 1981, and continued to be an active scholar through his retirement in 1992 and well beyond. As recently as 2007, Rosen was still actively conducting research, publishing articles, and mentoring younger scholars.

Rosen was known for his work in optimization methods which are fundamental in many problems in engineering, biology, economics, and other sciences. He developed many fundamental techniques in areas such as modeling the 3-dimensional structure of protein molecules, eliminating noise from data signals, and the general solutions of nonlinear dynamical systems arising in bioengineering problems.