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Letters to the EditorFall 07 Magazine

To the Editor:
I just received the Spring 2008 issue of USF Magazine. I want to compliment the writers of the article on Michael Kudlick's legacy. I felt compelled to drop a short note about my experiences with Mike.

My senior year was the first year Mike was at USF. I had the opportunity to take two classes and also a directed study course with him. His influence on me changed my career focus. During the year, he took the time to help me in preparing to join the workforce—I had bills and couldn't continue on to grad school.


Below is the article about Michael Kudlick's passing. The article ran in the Spring 2008 print version of USF Magazine, but was not published online.

Michael Kudlick Leaves Legacy as Gifted Scientist, Inspiring Teacher

USF Professor Emeritus Michael D. Kudlick died Feb. 16 in San Francisco after a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 73. 

Kudlick taught computer science at USF for 23 years, served as chair of the department, and received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981. He was the adviser for the USF student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery, and led his department through a sweeping curriculum revision that transformed both the undergraduate major and the graduate master’s degree programs. 

“Dr. Kudlick taught me how to think logically, to observe, and ask the right questions,” said Alfred Chuang ’82, founder and president of BEA Systems. Chuang, who credits Kudlick with helping prepare him for a career in computer science, donated $2.5 million to USF in 2001 to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art computer classroom named for Kudlick. “He showed me that the key to the creative process is melding one’s curiosity with an intense drive. He impressed upon me that there are never any short cuts to achievement. I’ve lived by these principles, and I am grateful that Dr. Kudick first modeled them for me.”

Kudlick graduated from the University of Maryland in 1956, and then served in the U.S. Navy. He earned a PhD in applied mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966. Prior to joining USF, Kudlick worked at Shell Development and Stanford Research Institute. In 1972, his group designed the computer mouse and developed computer networking for the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPANET), the forerunner of the Internet. 

“I’ve rarely witnessed the kind of sustained following and legacy of a faculty member like I’ve seen with Michael Kudlick,” said Jennifer Turpin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It wasn’t because of what he taught, but rather how he taught—and how he led—by example.” 


I started my first job at Wells Fargo three days after graduation and worked there for 22 years, starting as a programmer trainee and leaving as a vice president responsible for a $20 million information processing budget and a staff of 65. I can easily say that my most enjoyable time at Wells was during the 1980s when I was a systems programmer, working with the operating system on IBM mainframes, a passion that Mike ignited in me.

Mike's approach to collaborative learning and his causal but challenging teaching style made his classes enjoyable and I was motivated to learn every level of detail in whatever subject he was teaching. I still stay in touch with a few of my CS classmates from that small graduating class (as I recall, there were only about 15 CS majors in 1975). Mike will always be in our fondest memories. Your comments in the article tell me that our experiences in 1975 were just the start and that many classes that followed also benefited from the teachings of Mike.
In 2003, I completed a 28-year career in the information technology field. I switched careers partially to give back to others some of what I learned and experienced. I now work for Oregon Catholic Press, a non-profit music publisher in Portland, Ore., that publishes missals, hymnals, and songbooks used in Catholic churches throughout the United States. I credit many of my accomplishments to the things I learned from Mike, all in just that one school year of 1974-75.

I am hopeful there are many more Mike Kudlicks out there igniting a passion in today's generation. If so, I know things will be OK.

Vic Cozzoli ’75
Portland, Ore.

To the Editor:
As the director and faculty director of the UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program, which Lanette Scott attended for three years, we want to thank you, of course, for the excellent article but also for the outstanding opportunities USF has given — and continues to give — to nontraditional university students such as Ms. Scott. The same praise goes to the foster care system of Ms. Scott's county, for when it works, it really works, and with such outstanding foster parents, the results do not even have the sky as their limit.

Our respect, admiration, love, and praise go to Ms. Scott. We so often talk about our young people being our future. Now, we must all stand up and cheer, for with Ms. Scott as our future, we are in good hands and can grow old gratefully knowing that Ms. Scott and other strong, brilliant, ethical and moral, young people will lead our country in directions much more laudable than those many of us had ever imagined.

Please forward our gratitude to Ms. Scott and please accept our gratitude for the excellent work USF is doing.

Rina Hersch Gabelko
Director, UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program
Frank Worrell
Faculty Director, UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program







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