In Memoriam: Summer 2015

Volume 5, Issue 2, Summer 2015

Yi-Hsiang Chang, M.A. ’08, M.Phil. ’10, History

Yi-Hsiang Chang, a Ph.D. student in history, died in December. Chang is remembered as a wonderful scholar and a kind person. His memorial service was held in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 26, 2015.

Val Fitch, Ph.D. ’54, Physics

Val Fitch died in February at 91. After joining the Princeton University faculty in 1954, he and his colleague James Cronin began collaborating on experiments, eventually concluding that the laws of physics are not the same for particles and their antiparticle opposites—a discovery that earned them the Nobel Prize in 1980. According to Samuel Ting, MIT physics professor and Nobel laureate, Fitch’s work “is one of the most important in the 20th century to show the laws of physics actually change with time.” Fitch earned many more honors and awards during his career, including the National Medal of Science in 1993.

Edna Choi Law, M.A. ’47, English and Comparative Literature, ’51LS

Edna Law died in July 2014 at 90 in Staten Island, New York. Law graduated from Barnard College and received master’s degrees in both English and library science before becoming a finance executive for more than 25 years. Law also worked with the New York Public Library system and held leadership positions at both Barnard College Library and the New York University Graduate Library of Business Administration.

James Nakamura, ’52GS, Ph.D. ’64, Economics

James Nakamura, professor emeritus of economics, died in February at 96. Nakamura is credited with being one of the first professors in the U.S. to teach about the Japanese economy. In addition to his career as a scholar, Nakamura was heavily involved in the Center on Japanese Economy and Business, a research organization based at the Columbia Business School.

Mark Lyons Peisch, Ph.D. ’59, Art History and Archaeology

Mark Peisch died in May 2014 at the age of 92. He is remembered fondly as an educator and administrator, serving as the foreign student adviser and director of University admissions and financial aid at Columbia, as a lecturer in art history at Dartmouth and Columbia, and as associate dean of student affairs at New York Medical College. He also co-founded the first Montessori School in New Jersey in 1963.

Martin Perl, Ph.D. ’55, Physics

Martin Perl died in September at the age of 87. Perl won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for discovering the tau lepton, a subatomic particle. A native of Brooklyn, Perl conducted his doctoral research on the sodium nucleus under the mentorship of Isidor Isaac Rabi, also a Nobel laureate. After graduating from Columbia, Perl held positions at the University of Michigan and then Stanford University, where he taught and conducted research for half a century.

Leonard J. Rosenfeld, M.A. ’39, Political Science

Leonard J. Rosenfeld, a Staten Island native, died in September at the age of 98. He was a member of the U.S. Army Eighth Air Force from 1942 to 1945 and a lawyer for Schenley Industries from 1946 to 1981. He is survived by two daughters, three granddaughters, and ten great-grandchildren.