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Professor Emeritus and former Associate Department Head William Kubitz dies at 78

8/9/2017 1:41:27 PM David Mercer, CS @ ILLINOIS

CS @ ILLINOIS is deeply saddened to note the passing of Professor Emeritus and former Associate Department Head William Kubitz.

Kubitz’s wife, Carol, said he died peacefully on Aug. 5 at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana, Illinois. He was 78.

Professor Emeritus William "Bill" Kubitz
Professor Emeritus William "Bill" Kubitz
Kubitz was associate head of the department from 1985 until he retired from the position in 2000. He helped establish the department’s first PC labs and was a key player in two major construction projects that helped shape the department -- additions to the Digital Computer Laboratory, where the department was originally housed, completed in 1989; and the construction of the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science. He was involved with planning and construction of the Siebel Center, which was completed in 2004, well after his 2000 retirement.

Kubitz’s research focused on graphics and circuits, including Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) – the process creating an integrated circuit by combining thousands of transistors on a single chip. He helped build one of the first digital color painting systems by combining a color monitor and a magnetic video disk on which the user could outline a shape and then color it in.

CS @ ILLINOIS honored Kubitz in 2013 with the Distinguished Service Award. In remarks read at the ceremony, Professor Daniel A. Reed, who was head of the department from 1996-2001, praised Kubitz for his devotion to the department.

“Bill Kubitz deserves huge – and I do mean huge – credit for all the things he did to make the department a great place for faculty, staff and students.  From managing the department’s day-to-day operations and budgets through planning and strategy to overseeing the design and construction of Siebel Center, Bill was the “go to” person who dealt with problems large and small.  He did all the things that most people never see – unless no one does them,” Reed said.

Kubitz also was a graduate of the university. He earned his BS in Physics in 1961, his MS in Physics the next year, and, after working for General Electric in Milwaukee, completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1968.

As a doctoral student, Kubitz was a member of W. J. Poppelbaum’s research group and involved in digital and analog systems for the ILLIAC III computing system.

According to The News-Gazette obituary, services are planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12th at McKinley Presbyterian Church in Champaign, Illinois.