Friday, March 23, 2012

David Waltz (1943-2012)

David Waltz, head of the Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia, passed away yesterday after a battle with a brain tumor at the age of 68.

David Waltz is best known for his research in artificial intelligence but I'll remember him most for his leadership of the NEC Research Institute when I was there. David fought hard and risked his career to protect basic research, particularly theory, at NEC. He would end up losing the presidency of NEC in this conflict. It is a great leader that is willing to risk all to support his people.


  1. Thank you David Waltz for having vision. What made leaders in the past understand and invest in research? How can we replace some of today's dominant short-term and risk-averse pragmatists with more leaders who have vision? With all the hoopla last year when Steve Jobs passed on to the Infinite, it seems clear that the public does value vision and excellence.

  2. There are very few people with this characteristic:

    "A great leader that is willing to risk all to support his people."

    May God bless him in paradise.

    Rafee Kamouna