UCLA Physics professor Charles Whitten has passed away. UCLA Today has a good story that goes into his research (nuclear physics) and mentions that besides his high-level research, he almost exclusively taught undergraduate courses, something very rare for a full professor who also does a lot of research. As someone who tried to find the easiest science classes to take care of my GEs, I never took one of his classes...but life has a funny way of working out--now I work in the contract and grant office handling grant proposals and awards for the physical sciences department! That's how I recognized his name.
The Daily Bruin also has a really good article, and which made me want to bring him to our attention here. Over the last week there has been a lot of discussion on here about UCLA as an institution and what support the administration gives to our major sports programs. There's been talk of a disconnect between administration and faculty, and students and fans. So I just wanted to share this tidbit from the Bruin article on Prof. Whitten after the jump:
Here's what someone who worked on a cyclotron at UCLA and on muon and ion experiments at CERN was also interested in:
Whitten was a devoted UCLA football and basketball fan – he bought season tickets the very first year the family came to Los Angeles, Joan Whitten said.
This tradition would continue for the next 42 years and, as his family expanded, Whitten would invite his son and one of his grandchildren to attend games with him, she said.
When he could not attend games in person, Whitten would follow them on television and give words of encouragement.
“He’d scream at the TV and I’d say, ‘They can’t hear you, dear,’” Joan Whitten said, laughing.
But regardless of the venue, Whitten had to wear his signature UCLA hat, which was decorated with numerous pins from UCLA football games.
Clearly a True Bruin. For anyone took a class or knew Prof. Whitten, the Physics department has allowed people to leave their thoughts on his faculty page.