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Elected in 1978

“For application of the principles of seismology and applied mathematics to engineering decisions and public policy.”


BRUCE ALAN BOLT, Professor Emeritus of Seismology at the University of California, Berkeley, died suddenly of pancreatic cancer at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California, on July 21, 2005.

Professor Bolt was born on February 15, 1930, in the small town of Largs, New South Wales, Australia. He attended East Maitland Public School, Maitland Boys’ High School, Newcastle Technical College, and the University of Sydney (at Armidale) where he majored in mathematics and physics and received a B.Sc. with honors in applied mathematics in 1952. After a year at Sydney Teachers’ College (Diploma of Education) he taught mathematics and physics at Sydney Boys’ High School. He was then appointed to the faculty in the Mathematics Department at the University of Sydney, where he received an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in 1955 and 1959, respectively. In 1972, he was awarded a D.Sc. by the University of Sydney.

After completion of his Ph.D. in elastic wave theory, he won a Fulbright scholarship to Lamont Geological Observatory at Columbia University in 1960 and to Cambridge University (U.K.) in 1961. There he met the late Perry Byerly, Professor of Seismology at University of California, Berkeley (UCB), which led to an invitation to a chair in seismology at UCB in 1963.

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