In 1997, the Math Department celebrated 100 years of teaching PhDs at the UW. There was a series of talks in varied topics, featuring alumni from all over the world. They also had a dinner. The program lists 100 years of Ph.D. graduates and their thesis titles.
Remembering William "Wild Bill" Laubenheimer, M.S., 1979
William (aka Bill, “Wild Bill”) James Laubenheimer
August 19, 1956 - July 19, 2023
Bill grew up in Milwaukee, WI, graduated from Carroll College at age 19, and attended UW Madison where he received double major master degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1979. While at Madison, he developed tight friendships over the bridge table. Further educational opportunities took him to the U.C. Berkeley Computer Science department where he decided after a certain point that “instead of a PhD, he wanted a j-o-b” because he decided that he did not want to research computer science, he wanted to create it.
Bill was fortunate that of the five startups he participated in, two were very successful. One of them became Macromedia, which was acquired by Adobe.
While working in San Francisco, he noticed a woman on the Caltrain (commuter train between San Jose and San Francisco) bike car and said “hi.” That led to conversations, which led to bike rides and dating, and five months later, Bill proposed to her in the Caltrain bike car. Eight months later, they were married on the Caltrain (with Amtrack’s cooperation) with family and friends in attendance.
Their common interests in science fiction, the musical form associated with science fiction, called filking, similar love of sports, bridge, and travel contributed to a successful marriage of 23 years. Bill had written more than 60 songs - several of them on the topic of computers, science, and science fiction topics.
Bill is survived by his wife, Carole Parker, three siblings, and three siblings-in-law along with numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews.
If you are inclined to donate, please donate to interfilk.org or a non-religious charity of your choice.