In Appreciation: Dr. Amar Bose, 1929 - 2013

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Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3:00pm

Amar Bose, center, with mentors Y.W. Lee, far left, and Norbert Wiener, far right, at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics in 1955.  Image courtesy of MIT Museum.
On the news of the passing of Amar Bose, EECS Dept. Head Anantha Chandrakasan has shared the following note with the EECS and broader communities. [Photo: Amar Bose, center, with mentors Y.W. Lee, far left, and Norbert Wiener, far right, at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics in 1955. Image courtesy of MIT Museum.]

"Prof. Amar Bose made tremendous contributions to the EECS department and was known to all of us – and to the students who were fortunate enough to interact with him – as a truly remarkable educator, researcher and mentor. Professor Bose carried out his doctoral research in RLE, on nonlinear systems, supervised by Professors Yuk-Wing Lee and Norbert Wiener and received his Sc.D. degree in 1956 in EE. He always had a passion for research and relished the challenge of accomplishing what others thought was impossible. This passion was evident in his research within RLE which was heavily focused on audio and acoustics. It is deeply embedded in the research-driven company that he founded. Professor Bose is internationally known for the premier audio products that carry his name and his many groundbreaking innovations in the audio industry.

As Prof. Bose describes in a video clip of one of his wonderful talks, he had never intended to pursue an academic career, but was “talked into” joining the faculty by Prof. Jerry Wiesner. He approached the challenges of teaching with creativity, enthusiasm, energy and an innovative spirit. During his faculty career he became one of the department’s legendary teachers. His first major teaching assignment was the basic undergraduate circuits course, which had previously been taught for many years by another legendary faculty member, Prof. Ernst Guillemin. His re-design and teaching of this course resulted not only in a classic text, Introductory Network Theory, co-authored with Prof. Ken Stevens, but in many innovations in lecturing a large course. He established weekly meetings with a group of recitation section representatives. These meeting were incredibly popular and the students elected by their recitation sections cherished the role. During the semesters that he was lecturing the course, he was devoted virtually full time to preparation. This resulted in consistently charismatic lectures, deep and thoughtful problem sets and exams, and very high expectations of commitment and seriousness of purpose from the teaching staff and the students. An indication of his standards and expectations is well reflected in the incident captured in the article http://alum.mit.edu/pages/sliceofmit/2010/10/24/when-bose-walked-out/

Professor Bose also became legendary for his teaching of his acoustics course, 6.312. A sense of his style and approach to acoustics is nicely conveyed in the video recording of his introductory 6.312 lecture, http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/13775-mit-acoustics-course-6-312-lecture-1-9-7-1995.

Throughout his teaching career Prof. Bose set exceptionally high standards for himself, his staff and his students. He put tremendous emphasis on mentoring the graduate student teaching assistants, working closely with them to help them develop their teaching skills and working collaboratively with them to teach them the skill of creating outstanding homework problems. He routinely worked with the same TAs over multiple semesters, with the intent of helping them to become gifted teachers and mentors.

The EECS community is very fortunate to have benefited from his passion and dedication for teaching. He has inspired many generations of engineers and showed them the path to commercializing research innovations. His contributions will continue to impact our department and many generations of students to come. We will greatly miss him."

Sincerely,

Anantha P. Chandrakasan
Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering
Department Head, MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science