Elected in 1998
“For information technology on the national level.”
BY ANITA JONES
KEITH WILLIAM UNCAPHER, founder and Executive Director Emeritus of Information Sciences Institute, Associate Dean for Information Sciences Emeritus of the University of Southern California, and senior vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, died at the age of 80 on October 10, 2002. He died in mid-air while returning to the West Coast after attending an NAE meeting.
Keith was born in Denver, Colorado, on April 1, 1922, one of three children of Wayne Samuel and Alice Clague Uncapher; the family moved to California when he was six months old. After high school graduation in Glendale, California, he joined the Navy and became a radar technician. Although he was prone to seasickness, he never hesitated when he had to climb the mast of his ship to fix the radar. When he left the service in 1946, Keith studied electronics and mathematics at Glendale College. In 1950, he graduated from the California Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in mathematics and electrical engineering.
At the recommendation of one of his professors, Keith applied for a job at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, which was a fairly new organization at the time. He was readily accepted at RAND and soon began to conduct fundamental research on digital-memory technology (before the time of core memory). His talent for managing research was evident early on, and he was soon put in charge of the Computer Engi-