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Dr. Fred Brooks in the library of Sitterson HallFriends,

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of our department founder and beloved faculty member, Dr. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. As a colleague, mentor, and friend to so many, we know that he will be greatly missed by this community.

From the moment he founded the department in 1964, Dr. Brooks demonstrated his steadfast commitment to serving the world, and others, through science. His foundational work in our field cemented the notion that computer science is a means to great ends–to build tools, to work in collaboration, and to strengthen our scientific understanding of the world. His impact on our department and his commitment to the University were truly admirable.

While many have similar ambitions to impact the world, only Dr. Brooks could achieve it with such humility, grace, and kindness. As a winner of the Turing Award – widely considered to be the Nobel Prize in Computer Science – his legacy of collaboration and achievements in computer science will continue on as our students have the privilege to learn in the department that he founded and the field that he influenced.

He will be deeply missed. I invite you to read the department’s statement on Dr. Brooks’ impact and a well-lived life here.

The Department of Computer Science will hold a memorial event in Chapel Hill in the spring of 2023 to honor Dr. Brooks. Details of the event will be shared on this page as they are decided, but there will be a Zoom option for those who cannot attend in person.

Best regards,

Samarjit Chakraborty
Chair, UNC Department of Computer Science


Event Details

Date and venue to be determined