Jerome R. Cox, Jr., senior emeritus professor of computer science and engineering at the McKelvie School of Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, died Tuesday, January 17, 2023 in St. Louis. he was 97 years old.
Cox became a faculty member at the University of Washington in 1955 and has made significant contributions to the fields of biomedical computing, multimedia communications, and computer networking. He and his graduate student, A. Maynard Engrebretson, created a computer to measure hearing in young children. Their research paved the way for early detection of hearing loss and mandatory newborn screening in the United States.
Cox’s work has had a profound impact on biomedical research at the University of Washington and around the world. In 1964, he brought from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to his WashU a laboratory computer and its development team that became known as LINC. LINC transformed biomedical research by integrating computer science and medicine, allowing researchers to program data analysis on the fly and is considered one of the first personal computers he. In the same year, he founded the Biomedical He Computing Institute, introducing small computers to biomedical research.
His pioneering work in radiotherapy planning paved the way for systems to be put into operation around the world. His research team developed computer methods for reconstructing images from his CT and PET scanners to help diagnose cancer and cardiovascular disease. His innovations helped develop early monitors for heart rhythm disturbances. He has also worked on mapping the human genome and computer applications in electron radiology. He holds 12 of his US patents and has published over 150 journal publications.
“About a year before COVID, I had lunch with Jerry,” said Aaron Bobick, dean of the McKelvey School of Engineering and Professor James M. McKelvey. “At 94, he told me about the two startups he currently works with and how one of them got a lot of attention at the Pentagon. His life and legacy are an inspiration to all of us.”
R. Martin Arthur (Newton R. & Sarah Louisa Glasgow Wilson Professor Emeritus, Preston M. Greene Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering) worked with Cox in the early 1970s.
“I only worked with him in my early days as a new faculty member, but he changed the direction of my career,” said Arthur. “He asked me to join him and Floyd Knoll in a paper on the digital analysis of the EEG that was published in the EEG Proceedings, republished and cited many times. I am doing a PhD in electromagnetism, and my paper with Jerry and Floyd turned my career into image and signal processing.”
Cox recently sent Arthur a copy of Cox’s memoir, Work Hard, Be Kind.
“He was true to it,” said Arthur. “His influence was worldwide. He worked with people all over the world and did it in a very kind and gracious way.”
Cox was the Harold B. and Adelaide G. Welge Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington from 1989 to 1998 and was the first chair of the Computer Science & Engineering Department from 1975 to 1991. He helped build an internationally acclaimed division in biomedical his computing applications and computer networking. With then-undergraduate colleagues Jonathan Turner and Gulp Perker, he founded Growth Networks, his company acquired by Cisco Systems in 2000. The company manufactures advanced networking chip sets and has become a model for technology transfer initiatives at universities.
Cox has three children, Nancy (Craig) Battersby, Jerry (Margaret) Cox, and Randy (Patti) Cox. her sister, Anita Hunt; She has eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He died in 2006 from his wife Barbara (Bobby).
A commemorative donation to the Central Deaf Association is proposed. his McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (designated McKelvey Engineering-Jerome Cox Graduate Fellowship in Computer Science & Engineering); or the University of Washington’s Audiology and Communication Sciences Scholarship program.
A memorial service will be held on February 18 at 10:00 a.m. Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, Mo., and from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Whitmore House, University of Washington, 6440 Forsyth Blvd., St. A reception will be held at Lewis, Mo.
Read the full obituary on the engineering website.