Marvin L. Stein
Stein, Marvin Leonard Died peacefully on February 27, at the age of 90. Marvin was born on July 15, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Carl Stein and Marion Marks. When Marvin was three, his mother contracted tuberculosis. Marvin, his parents and older brother Harvey, moved to Los Angeles for her treatment and remained there after her death. Marvin grew up in the Boyle Heights area of L.A., which was known for its eclectic mix of people. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1941. Marvin continued his education at UCLA, but left to serve in the United States Army during WW II. While at Roosevelt, Marvin met Ruth Meyerson, who car pooled with him to UCLA. Marvin and Ruth married on July 15, 1944, his twentieth birthday. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last summer. After World War II, Marvin resumed his education at UCLA, earning a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1951. After working at UCLA Mathematics Institute of Numerical Analysis (1948-1952), Marvin became a research engineer at Convair in San Diego, California, working on the development of the Atlas missile. It was the height of the McCarthy Era and Marvin's security clearance was revoked because he was Jewish. By the time the action was overturned by the court, Marvin was ready for a change. In 1956, Marvin accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, where he was promoted in full professor in 1961. Although he spent his entire academic teaching career at the U of M, he was also a visiting professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science (1963-1964) and the Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities (1971-1972). Through his life and work in Israel, he established a close connection to that country, personally and professionally, that would last to the end of his life. Marvin is affectionately referred to as "the father of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota." Some in the 1950s doubted that machines could be used to solve complex problems, while others didn't think that working on machines to solve problems was a good idea. Marvin begged to differ, understanding the need for development of computers and the impact computers could have on our society. He became director of the Numerical Analysis Center, taught the University's first courses in high-speed computation and created with others the first graduate program in Computer and Information Sciences in 1967. In 1970 he served as founding Department Head for Computer Sciences. He had an important role in the discovery of the conjugate gradient method and he was the principal inventor of the Stein-Pope division method and the Stein-Rose sorting algorithm. His children fondly remember their dad making his huge flashing computers punch out cards shaped like Mickey Mouse and, years later nodding sagely while they showed him their iPads. Marvin continued as a professor until his retirement in 1997. The Marvin L. Stein papers are held in the University of Minnesota Archives. Marvin was at his happiest when he was with Ruth, their children, and grandchildren, dancing to Benny Goodman records, walking through Prospect Park in Minneapolis, or along the beach in San Diego. Marvin was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Harvey Stein, his sister Jacqueline Yahr, and his beloved son, Eugene Harvey Stein. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Ruth Meyerson Stein, his brother Steve Stein of Los Angeles, his children Tamar Stein (Abram Edelson) of Los Angeles and Jerry Stein (Margy Braden Stein) of Minneapolis, his daughter-in-law Sandi Stein of Minneapolis, and his adored grandchildren Jennifer Edelson (Greg Wagner), Libby Edelson, Jordan Stein (Carrie Walker Stein), Nat Bennett (Sharon Stanley), Sarah Stein (Rob Vork), Ben Braden Stein, great-grandchildren Elijah and Gabriel Wagner, Sefirah, Aryeh and Zvi Stein, Max Vork and Saul Stanley-Bennett, as well as nephew Paul Stein of Miami, and many dear family members in southern California.
Published on March 4, 2015
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