Tom Wickens – RIP

I want to be a bit maudlin. I just found out my undergrad responsible advisor Tom died. 70 years old, which is not bad, but still, you know, these days you expect them to hang on for longer. Heck, my grad advisor Jim Townsend is still going strong (and I’m pleased about that), and he is 20 years my senior. (Yes, I’m not a spring chicken at 53). What more, I found out he suffered from ALS – Lou Gherigs disease. Yes, Stephen Hawking has lived with this for 50 years, which, kinda, makes him lucky (well, that is bad wording), but, hell, what a fate.

But, I just want to remember Tom as the advisor he was. I remember sitting in his office with Charles (who really advised me most, and was the closest I ever had to a mentor), talking about a computational model we were building, and he was giving us the perfect equation (it was an exponential, with an asymptotic curve) for doing the updates.


When I told him I worried about dealing with the stats in grad school, he told me not to, as I for one, was doing just fine in a population genetics course. Which was very nice and encouraging.

We went to lunch at the faculty club, once I had turned in everything for my final thesis. He told me to say hi to Jim Townsend at Indiana (where I would be starting grad school). I was too shy, so I never did, but then I ended up with Jim anyway, which was great.

So, Rest in Peace Tom, in some nice, mathematical place.

About asehelene

... because if I'm in a room with a second person, I want to be reasonably sure I'm the crazier one.
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