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Damon Lehrer

Frederick Reif

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Frederick Reif, emeritus professor in Physics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, died on August 11th, 2019. He was 92.  A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty for eleven years, he taught previously at UC Berkeley for twenty-nine years and the University of Chicago for eight years. Fred had a prolific scientific career, where he studied a wide range of topics from superfluids to cognition and education. Frederich (later...  see more
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Posts & Photos

  • Lin YUDE
    I read your books about statistical mechanics. These books are the best I've ever read.
    Thank you so much, Sir.
  • Lisa Holt
    I wrote this Aug 12, 2019

    I just got home after a quick trip to visit my PhD advisor Fred Reif in Lincoln MA. We had a great visit Saturday evening reminiscing about our 27-year friendship. Although his short-term memory was failing and he asked me the...  more
  • Laurie Edwards
    Ah, I just have to add: I would not have even known about the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) at Berkeley had I not seen Fred give a talk at UC Santa Cruz around 1983 about how students and experts think about physics - I can...  more
  • Laurie Edwards
    Fred interviewed me when I applied to the doctoral program in SESAME, and at first I felt a bit intimidated, especially when he asked me about the forces on the bob of a pendulum at its highest point (my last physics class had been in high school, and...  more
  • Clifford Surko
    I was Fred’s last Physics graduate student at Berkeley. We spent hours talking physics, and I simply loved it. The logic of his thought and the simplicity of many of his physics arguments was inspirational. His keen desire to understand physical...  more
  • Sue Allen
    Fred was the person who made it possible for me to come to the U.S. over thirty years ago - he was willing to take a chance on a graduate student from South Africa, sight unseen. He became my Ph.D. advisor at Berkeley, and after his move to CMU we kept...  more
  • Richard Packard
    I met Fred at a physics summer school on superfluids held in Israel in spring of 1969. Four years earlier he had made his profound discovery of vortex rings in helium. An experimental result that is still one of the most perfect validations of a...  more
  • Damon Lehrer
    I'm happy to have had the last year and a half to spend some time with my uncle who mostly lived in cities distant from my own when I was a child and young adult. He had some wonderful caregivers around him and he was close to his family again. I will...  more
  • David Hammer
    My memories of Fred are from Berkeley — I was in the Physics Department, and Fred was the professor connected to the School of Education and the SESAME program he cofounded. Many of my particular memories are auditory — I can't think of the "search...  more