William Jewell, Margaret DiStasi



William Jewell, Margaret DiStassi

05 February 2003 |

William Jewell
By Sarah Yang, Public Affairs

Professor emeritus of operations research William Jewell, an internationally recognized expert in the field of risk analysis, died Jan. 27, at the age of 70, of complications from pneumonia.

“Bill possessed a tremendous intellectual curiosity that covered a wide breadth of topics,” said C. Roger Glassey, professor emeritus of industrial engineering. “His interests spanned from the mathematical analysis of risk to the history of beer in Czechslovakia. He was also a talented musician. Throughout his life, he maintained a degree of optimism that was infectious.”

Born in Detroit on July 2, 1932, Jewell received his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University in 1954, and his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958.

He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1960, serving as chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from 1976 to 1980. He continued teaching until his retirement in 1997, but remained active in the department years afterward.

An early proponent of interdisciplinary research, Jewell was the driving force behind the 1989 reorganization of the Operations Research Center, an organized research unit at the College of Engineering, into the Engineering Systems Research Center. Jewell was the former director of the center.

Among the awards and honors Jewell received during his career were a Fulbright Research Fellowship and a Halmstad Memorial Prize. He was also a member of various scholarly societies, including the Operations Research Society of America, the Institute of Management Sciences and the International Actuarial Association.

Jewell is survived by his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth; his sister, Kathe Dempster of South Haven, Mich.; four children and five grandchildren.

A memorial service was held earlier this week. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Rotary Club of Orinda, P.O. Box 44, Orinda, CA, 94563, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Margaret DiStasi
By Robert Holliday
College of Letters & Science

Margaret DiStasi, former director of the Office of Undergraduate Advising in the College of Letters & Science, died of an acute aneurysm on Jan. 19.

DiStasi joined L&S in 1969 as a senior clerk, remaining with the college for her entire career, first as an adviser and then head adviser. She was central in the creation of the Office of Undergraduate Advising, becoming its director in 1987 and holding that position until her retirement in May 2002. Recently she returned to the campus as an adviser in the Athletic Study Center, and also served as an admissions reviewer.

All of the deans with whom she worked recalled her commitment and service. Robert Knapp, who served as the first divisional dean of advising, remembered DiStasi’s role as the first director of the advising service. “Margaret worked tirelessly to increase the outreach of the Office of Undergraduate Advising and put it on the highly professional footing it enjoys today,” he said. Dean of the Undergraduate Division Kwong-loi Shun said, “Margaret always stood ready to help the individual student, and through her knowledge, experience, and campus contacts, helped numerous students resolve intricate difficulties over the years.”

DiStasi loved her work and transmitted that passion to her three children. She was as proud of their impressive achievements in music, theater, and education as of any success she achieved at the university.

She is survived by her sister, Cecilia Benson; three children, Lawrence, Gavin, and Mia; and one grandchild, Griffin.

A campus memorial service will be announced.