We are deeply saddened by the loss of Professor Emeritus and UT Computer Science founding member James C. Browne, who passed away on Friday, January 19 at age 83.

In addition to teaching computer science, Browne was one of the first faculty members of the Department of Computer Science, which was founded in 1966, and also served as the department’s chairman for several years.

He was internationally recognized as an expert in parallel programming and computation and performance optimization. He played an important role in shaping the UT computer science department, and before coming to UT Computer Science he also helped establish the first computational center at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Browne, a UT alumnus who earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1960, was a faculty member at UT for over 45 years. Before becoming a computer science professor, he taught physics at UT until 1964. Throughout his academic career, Browne has researched a wide variety of topics in addition to computer science, from cancer to black holes, and was a fellow of five different professional societies including the Association for Computing Machinery.

Browne excelled both in research and in the classroom; he published nearly 500 research papers throughout his career, and he received The University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award in 2004. However, Browne was most proud of his work supervising 69 Ph.D. students and 65 master’s degree students as well as numerous undergraduate honors students.

In honor of Browne’s 65th birthday in 2000, UT Computer Science established a fund for a graduate fellowship in his name. In his memory, donations to continue his legacy will be accepted to the James C. Browne Graduate Fellowship Fund.

Read more about James Browne’s life in his obituary.

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Comments

I did my PhD at UTCS. I did not work with Jim but I sat in an office that was adjacent to his office in Taylor Hall. He struck me as more energetic than even the youngest person in the department. He also struck me as a very down-to-earth and gentlemanly person who cared about others. I was honored to receive a fellowship, as a grad student, that held his name. May he Rest In Peace.
I did my Masters at UT 1986-88. Jim gave me my first RA, where, along with Kiran Somalwar, we worked on an annotated bibliography of Fault Tolerant Computing. This really helped me come to grips with ordinary tools of computing such as AWK and yacc, apart from the technical reading it entailed. He had an amazing group of PhD students, nuff said. (And the Hostess Twinkies in his office, were they still there? ) I also had email exchanges with Jim (after I had retired) when I wrote him about Yeturu Aahlad's WANdisco and my own plans. Great man. I feel privileged to have known him.
I got expelled by my advisor on the first year as an international student at UTCS. Dr. Browne gave me the best possible help I can expect even though he did not know me before the incident. I learned later that he is really such a generous person that he constantly take other persons problem as his own. I was lucky enough to have met him at the right time. He showed me the noble side of humanity that I still cherish very much 40 years later.

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