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Remembering Prof. Ed Fredkin

I first met Prof. Ed Fredkin and his wife Joyce at Bentley University‘s 100th anniversary gala in 2016. Persident Gloria Larson introduced us: “Mark, have you met Prof. Fredkin, he was the director of the MIT Lab for Computer Science, and Mark is the director of the CIS Sandbox at Bentley.” That short introduction was the beginning of a wonderful professional association.

Prof. Fredkin mentioned that he held a patent on using microcomputers for car navigation, and an early #tesla adopter. He offered to give a talk in tthe CIS Sandbox at Bentley University about the technology of self-driving cars. He and his wife Joyce, a Bentley alum, would then give students rides around the campus area in their vehicles so they could experience firsthand the technology he spoke about in his presentation. Prof. Ed and Joyce Fredkin returned several times to talk about the self-driving car industry along with their friend Miles Chilson. This was by far one of the most popular programs we ever had in the CIS Sandbox!

Joyce and Ed’s fondness of the CIS Sandbox extended beyond their annual “Tesla talks”. They attended several of our fall open house events each year and made it a point to talk with every student sharing a project, to learn more about them, their work, and their career goals.

Prof. Fredkin passed away recently; an obituary in the NY Times describes many of his professional accomplishments. Our condolences to Joyce and their family on his passing. Joyce and Ed are true friends of the CIS Sandbox and we will miss him.

See his prior presentations, and a video of Prof. Fredkin’s last visitwith us at Bentley in Fall, 2022.