David Notkin ’77 1955-2013

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce that David Notkin ’77 passed away early this week following a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife Cathy, his children Emma and Akiva, and his sister Debbie. David was a Professor and the Bradley Chair at the University of Washington and was a world leader in software engineering, and an extraordinary mentor, who served more than seven years on the CRA Board. In addition, he was an ACM Fellow and IEEE Fellow as well as the recipient of the 2013 ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research award. David recently received CRA’s 2013 A. Nico Habermann award for his deep commitment for increasing the participation of women and underrepresented groups in computing.

    On February 1, 2013, more than 300 people joined in recognizing the contributions of David Notkin at “Notkinfest” held at the University of Washington. There, UW CSE announcedthe establishment of the David Notkin Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Computer Science & Engineering to enable UW Computer Science & Engineering to recruit the strongest graduate students in the nation and the world, and to honor the scholarship of David Notkin, his leadership in the field of computer science, and his contributions to UW CSE.

    Andy van Dam writes, “David Notkin finally succumbed to cancer after valiantly fighting it for multiple years with grit, self-deprecating humor, and not a shred of self-pity. We were truly honored to have him as a Distinguished Lecturer just a few months ago, celebrating him as one of our best and brightest graduates. He exemplified what we all should aspire to as academics: to be dedicated and outstanding scholar/teachers and sought-after mentors whose impact on our fields and on our students outlasts us. Our hearts go out to his loving family and his many colleagues and students around the globe.”

    Shriram Krishnamurthi added, “David was not just a leading light of software engineering research; he was also a kind and nurturing mentor. Indeed, in his case, the two traits went hand-in-hand. Both as a person and as a researcher, his focus was entirely on his fellow humans. David’s last major talk was here at Brown where he gave a hopeful and positive message for the future of software engineering.” The talk video is now available here.

    His wife Cathy wrote, “If you want to donate anything in David's memory, I know David cares a great deal about Women in Technology,our local FamilyWorks Resource Center and food bank , the UW scholarship for grad students in his name, and the non-profithe's been supporting me to run for several years. Or simply continue to donate your time and love to doing good in the world like you do already. He would like that. So would I.”


    Notkin during his time at Brown


    A recent photo of Notkin