The University Record, October 25, 1999 John A. Jacquez

Mathematical biologist John A. Jacquez, whose research on the transmission of the AIDS virus gained international acclaim, died Oct. 16. He was 77.

A professor emeritus of physiology and biostatistics, Jacquez taught at the Medical School and School of Public Health from 1962 until his retirement in 1990.

His research brought to the world’s attention the importance of the primary infection period for the spread of HIV and its implications for the development of an HIV vaccine. His work with colleagues James Koopman, Carl Simon and Ira Longini demonstrating the importance of the first two months of infection won the 1995 Howard Temin Prize.

Jacquez was a major contributor to the theory and methods of mathematical biology and was the driving force behind the compartmental systems approach to modeling the dynamics of biological systems. He recently published the third edition of his classic text, Compartmental Analysis in Biology and Medicine, as well as a new hands-on guide to compartmental modeling.

In the mid-1980s, Jacquez was president of the Society for Mathematical Biology. His influence was especially strong as editor in chief for nearly 20 years of Mathematical Biosciences, now recognized as one of the premier journals in mathematical biology.

“John was a dedicated theorist in mathematical biology and was a systems guru for the medical profession and for the medical sciences,” says Koopman, professor of epidemiology. “He was a specialist physician whose specialty did not involve direct patient care but whose endeavors were continually improving the practice of medicine.

“He was a teacher who initiated many students to the practical systems view of the world that is found in compartmental systems analysis. Even as a close colleague in research, he always took care to teach the methods and wisdom he had developed. He had many sides to him that he kept in harmony.”

“John was truly a renaissance man in his scientific interests,” says Simon, professor of mathematics, of economics and of public policy. “His personal life was characterized by his strong family ties, his delight in helping the careers of young mathematical biologists and his production of fine wine from the grapes he grew in his backyard.”

Born June 26, 1922, in Alsace, France, Jacquez immigrated to New York with his family in 1929. He received his M.D. from Cornell University in 1947, and after a distinguished tenure in cancer research at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, he was asked to establish the U-M Department of Biomedical Data Processing in 1962.

He is survived by Marianne, his wife of 51 years, their four sons and their wives, and seven grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley or the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti.

From News and Information Services

William Dow

William Gould (Bill) Dow, an electrical engineer who founded dozens of labs and programs at the College of Engineering and was a beloved figure on campus for more than half a century, died on Oct. 17 in Bellevue, Wash. He had celebrated his 104th birthday Sept. 30.

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Dow described himself as “a first-class engineer in the field of physical electronics, a pretty good teacher and a damn fine promoter.” His longevity came from exercise and “choosing the right grandparents,” he said. “When I was 85, I lost one of the major arteries in my heart. But other arteries will do the job—if you ask them every day.”

Dow taught electrical engineering from 1938 to 1965 and served as department chair in 1960–65. Long after his “retirement,” Dow was a regular feature on campus and at the headquarters of ERIM—the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan—for which he was an emeritus trustee. He also held regular weekly lunch meetings with colleagues at Pierpont Commons and was active in the Ann Arbor Rotary Club. His 100th birthday was marked by a two-day celebration on campus in September 1995 that brought in students and colleagues from around the country.

“He was a very personable, kind man,” said George I. Haddad, the Robert J. Hiller Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees under Dow in the late 1950s. “He really loved to promote good people. He was about the most unselfish person I’ve ever known.”

Haddad said that, at the time of his death, Dow was still chipping away on a paper about nuclear fusion that he hoped to get published. He had been working on it for 35 years, and had two patents related to fusion in the 1980s. “His mind was very, very sharp, but he had lost his hearing,” Haddad said. Following the death of his second wife two years ago, Dow left his Arbor Hills home to live with his sons in Waco, Texas, and Bellevue, Wash.

During his 38 years of active service to the College of Engineering, Dow was responsible for creating and organizing 13 laboratories and research units, including Space Physics Research, Plasma Engineering and the Cooley Electronics Laboratories. He co-founded the Willow Run Laboratories (now ERIM) and created a unit to administer research grants, now called the Division of Research Development and Administration.

Dow was considered a leader in establishing the link between cutting-edge research and good teaching, and setting the precedent for faculty to conduct research for federal government agencies and private corporations.

“I have always considered him to be the father of modern electrical engineering at Michigan,” Haddad said. Though most of Dow’s career was during the vacuum tube age, he started a course on transistors shortly before retiring. “It was probably the first of its kind in the nation,” Haddad said. He also published a classic textbook on physical electronics, Fundamentals of Engineering Electronics, which many considered “the first usable textbook in electronics,” and which was a staple of the curriculum for nearly 20 years.

He was one of the pioneers of space exploration, and served on a group called the Rocket Research Council, which predated NASA. He also was the key driver behind the establishment of computer engineering and nuclear engineering programs at Michigan, the first of their kind in the nation.

A native of Faribault, Minn., he received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota in 1916 and his E.E. from Minnesota in 1917. His M.S. was completed at Michigan in 1929, and in 1980 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Colorado.

Dow was a lieutenant in the Army Engineering Corps in World War I, worked for a few years in engineering sales and testing, primarily for Westinghouse, and then joined the U-M in 1926 as an instructor. During World War II, he worked on radar countermeasures at Harvard University’s Radio Research Laboratory, reducing the effectiveness of enemy radar by almost 100 percent, and saving countless lives of allied airmen.

In 1924, he married Edna Lois Sontag, who preceded him in death in 1963. Dow married Katherine (Kitty) Bird Keene in 1968, who preceded him in death in 1997. He is survived by his two sons, Daniel Dow (Kathleen) of Bellevue, and David Dow (Gail) of Waco, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren. Katherine Keene’s children, John Keene, Karen Day and Peggy Hannan and their families, also survive him.

Dow’s funeral will be held today (Oct. 25) at 2 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

From the College of Engineering


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