Our hearts go out to Rita, the entire family, and friends of Brian. Don mentioned in a different thread meeting Brian in 1997. Shortly after, Don brought Brian over to the Geosciences Dept to brainstorm the intriguing “Planet X” project. They generously invited me to join and thus began a wonderful friendship and collaboration. Brian was among the most influential people in my life and career and I miss him daily.
It is an honor to have been considered part of his eclectic group – this photo of the going-away party for Lisa Daniels is just one instantiation of part of the whole network. Brian had such a breadth and depth of knowledge in disparate fields ranging from education theory to computer science to the knowledge domains of the projects – on top of popular culture, history, his particular hobbies, etc. I learned so much from him and the others he surrounded himself with, especially his great students and others who worked on his projects. His work ethic was inspiring but he always kept it fun. He was generous in crediting effort and supporting to the max students, staff and colleagues.
On the personal side, he was interested in your problem and wanted to help. A favorite memory of our family is when he learned of my daughter Liv’s obsession with My Little Pony, it didn’t take long for copies of Megan’s DVD’s to show up. Help with installing an air conditioner? No problem. Borrow the truck to help setup Liv’s graduation party? Sure, here are the keys.
The last email exchange we had was just a few weeks ago, about resurrecting instructional software the group had developed years ago, but would now be important for remote teaching due to COVID-19. What better resource to have than a virtual microscope (the MicroView project)? He was truly prescient. The last in-person time we spent was an evening at FBC shortly before the lockdown, where he told me he was living his best life.
Brian will be greatly missed – but the myriad good influences he had on so many will live on.
With love, also from Anna and Liv,