In Memoriam: Dr. Werner Krandick

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April 2, 2012 — We are very saddened to announce that Professor Werner Krandick passed away on Monday, March 26, 2012. His passing was unexpected and he will be sorely missed by the Drexel community.

Dr. Krandick received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Ohio State University in 1992 where he wrote his thesis, “Symbolic Methods for Polynomial Complex Root Calculation,” under the supervision of his advisor, Dr. George Collins. Prior to achieving his Ph.D., he received his B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics respectively at Universität Freiburg in 1981 and Universität Bonn in 1987.

He joined Drexel University as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science in 2001 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. Dr. Krandick was an outstanding professor whose lectures were detailed and precise, allowing students to fully comprehend complicated mathematical reasoning. He regularly taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in algorithms, data structures, cryptography, symbolic computation, software engineering, and theoretical computer science. He also served as senior design coordinator and regularly advised teams that placed highly in the Computer Science senior design competition; one team (joint with Mechanical Engineering) built a system for remote-controlled aircraft crack monitoring and won first place in the College of Engineering competition.

Before working at Drexel, Dr. Krandick was a postdoctoral researcher at the Universität Paderborn in Germany, as well as the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation (RISC) in Linz, Austria where he was a Lise Meitner Fellow.

Dr. Krandick’s research interests were in symbolic computation, high-performance computing, and mobile collaboration. He was an active member in his research community, serving as Vice Chair of ACM’s special interest group on symbolic and algebraic manipulation (SIGSAM), the steering committee of International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation (ISSAC), and the local arrangements chair for East Coast Computer Algebra Day (ECCAD) 2006 and ISSAC 2003 when they were held at Drexel.

He has contributed many significant results in the design, implementation, and analysis of algorithms for polynomial root calculation, including a very recent result titled “On the computing time of the continued fractions method,” where a tight upper bound on the computing time is proved. This result, co-authored with his advisor Dr. Collins, will appear in the Journal of Symbolic Computation, the main journal in the field.

The paper proves a theorem that is barely two lines long, providing a computing time bound for a 20-line algorithm. The discovery is incredibly remarkable because it is the first time in 30 years of experimentation anyone has even conjectured the computing time bound. Also, the proof of the bound requires more than 80 theorems and lemmas. The result was obtained when Drs. Krandick and Collins were collaborating on their book about polynomial real root isolation.

Dr. Krandick was a valuable member of the Department of Computer Science, the College of Engineering, Drexel University, and his research community. He was a great friend and will be very much missed.

Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced soon. Flowers and condolences can be sent to: Petra Krandick
5456 Quentin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19128