Monday, August 02, 2004

Larry Stockmeyer

We lost a great complexity theorist over the weekend. From Phokion Kolaitis:
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Larry Stockmeyer passed away. He died at his home as he had wished when he fell terminally ill a few weeks ago.

Larry was one of the pioneers of computational complexity who made fundamental and lasting contributions to the field. His death creates a void in our community that cannot be filled.

Indeed Stockmeyer developed many of the important early concepts in complexity such as alternation and the polynomial-time hierarchy, concepts that have laid the foundation for many important works in computational complexity. He had a number of great results throughout his career in complexity and nearly all areas of theoretical computer science. Our community has lost one of its giants.


  1. Larry made many wonderful contributions to the theory of computation. His work, as one example, on "discovering" (with Meyer) the polynomial time hierarchy was extremely important. He will be greatly missed.

    ...dick lipton

  2. Larry Stockmeyer was laid off in July 2002, just 4 months before his 54th birhtday. Due to protests, he was later allowed to continue working until his 54th birthday so he could take a 1-year bridge leave of absence and then retire at the age of 55.