In Memoriam: Bertram Bussell

Jul 11, 2012

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Bertram Bussell, professor emeritus of computer science and one of the founding members of Computer Science Department, died Saturday, July 7, 2012. He was 88.

bertram-bussell-200pxBussell was born in New York City and was educated at New York University and UCLA. He received his B.S. in 1950, his M.S in 1953, and his Ph.D. in 1962, all from UCLA Engineering. His research interests were in the areas of electric circuit theory, heat transfer, computer system architecture, and computer graphics.

Following his Ph.D., Bussell joined the engineering faculty at UCLA in 1963. In 1969, he was one of the original faculty members who formed the Computer Science Department at UCLA. He served as Vice Chair of the department from 1969 to 1982. In 1987, he retired from UCLA and accepted a position as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of West Coast University, where he was until 1993.

At various times during his tenure at UCLA he taught abroad in Brazil, Chile, England, and Israel. While at UCLA, he was selected by the engineering students as their favorite instructor three times, and once selected by the faculty of the School of Engineering for an “Outstanding Teacher” award.

Bussell received many honors for his work including a National Science Foundation Fellowship, a Fullbright Scholarship and a Teaching Fellowship from the Organization of American States. He has been a research investigator for the Department of the Army, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Department of Energy. In 1972, he was Chairman of the Program Committee and a member of the Steering Committee for the Rio Symposium on Computer Education for Developing Countries organized with the assistance of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics – International Computation Center.

Bussell co-authored a textbook in circuit analysis and was issued two patents dealing with aircraft weight and balance computers. He was a registered Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of California.

Bussell is survived by his sister Joyce Fishman; his companion of many years Carol Kirby; sons: Rick and wife Linda,  Lon and wife Kiki, Keith and wife Jaime; daughter Julie; and grandchildren Hilary, Sean, and Max; as well as long-time friends Lolo Penedo, John, Alex and Karina Silvester.

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A memorial gathering for Bussell will be held on Saturday, August 25, at 11 a.m., at the UCLA Faculty club, located at: 480 Charles Young Dr. East, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
Phone: (310) 825-0877 / Fax: (310) 825-4693

Photo courtesy John Silvester


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