For Immediate Release — Monday, December 5, 2005
Rong Lin, Professor of Computer Science, Dies at 61
GENESEO, N.Y. — Rong Lin, professor of computer science at Geneseo and a former chair of the department, died on Friday, Nov. 25, at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., following a lengthy illness. He was 61.
A native of China, Lin was an internationally known scholar in the largely theoretical field of reconfigurable and parallel architectures, algorithms and VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) designs. He extended and applied his theoretical research to resolve practical issues of technology design, and, because of the caliber of his research, Geneseo was, on several occasions, the only undergraduate institution in the U.S. to receive funding under highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant programs in the field of microelectronic and computer systems architecture.
Lin earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Peking University in Beijing, China, and his master's in computer science from Beijing Polytechnic University. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 1989. Prior to his joining the Geneseo faculty in 1989, he worked for eight years as an electrical engineer at Jilin Semiconductor IC Devices Company in China.
A profile published in 2003 in The Voice, a publication of United University Professions, reported that Lin followed an arduous path to his professional accolades. Following his graduation from Peking University, he was forced to do a year of peasant labor as part of the Cultural Revolution's re-education of intellectuals, the article states. "Lin glosses over that time, saying simply that he hoped he could resume his career," the article reads. "He did, working first in China's budding semiconductor industry, and then coming to the United States on a full scholarship for his Ph.D. work in artificial intelligence."
Lin was promoted in 1995 to associate professor at Geneseo, and to full professor and chair in 1999. He earned the SUNY Geneseo Presidential Summer Research Fellowship in 1991, the SUNY Geneseo Hurrell/McNaron Award for Scholarly Presentation in 1995, and the SUNY Geneseo Presidential Mid-Career Summer Fellowship in 1996.
In 1999 his development of a high-speed computer circuit design resulted in one of the first patents ever awarded to a faculty member at Geneseo. He was awarded his second patent in April 2004, and his vita lists another nine New Technology Disclosures and U.S. Patents Pending. In 2002, he became the first Geneseo faculty member to receive a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. During the course of his career, he had more than 90 refereed papers published in international journals and conference proceedings.
Lin is survived by his wife, Kai; son, Kevin; and daughter, Connie, of West Seneca Circle in Geneseo; and by brothers and sisters in China. Arrangements are pending through the Rector-Hicks Funeral Home in Geneseo.